Christmas Crib Ride 2023

This year the Christmas crib ride takes place in the Peel, originally a swamp and peat area. The raised bog area stretched approximately from Weert in the south to Grave in the north. So during the ride we will pass through both the east of North Brabant and the north of Limburg, traditionally predominantly Catholic, so blessed with the necessary nativity scenes.

Start and finish

This day we start and end at a restaurant in Bakel. From 12 noon we will be welcomed there with coffee/tea and cake.

What will we see?

First we head for the beautiful village of Deurne. And indeed, this is ‘HET DORP’, that Wim Sonneveld sang about, thanks to the lyrics of his life partner Friso Wiegersma, who came from Deurne. The 1st stop is the St. Willibrordus Church, located on Markt, right in the center. The nativity scene is located inside the church, which is also a national monument. Be sure to take a walk through the center, the old town hall and the market are around the corner and very worthwhile.

The 2nd stop is also in Deurne, at the ruins of the large castle of Deurne. There is a beautiful nativity scene outside in the castle garden, next to the Het Dinghuis restaurant. The live animals that are always present make it even more beautiful.

We then set off for Limburg, to Venray to be precise, where the 3rd nativity scene awaits us in the St. Petrus Bandenkerk (no, not the Michelin one). It is a Gothic church, the oldest parts of which date from the 15th century.

This church is also located in the center of Venray, so a walk is also possible here. In addition, various choir performances take place in the afternoon, inside and outside the church, so take your time, especially if you like that.
We continue the road through De Peel via the villages of Overloon and Sint Anthonis to Handel.

Christmas crib no. 4 is located inside the Our Lady of the Assumption church, in Handel, the oldest Mary pilgrimage site in Brabant, thanks to a miracle that took place here in 1220.

Behind the church around the ‘holy well’ is the procession park. It was laid out in 1908. There are neo-Gothic chapels that show the Secrets of the Rosary. There is also a Way of the Cross that winds through the park and consists of 14 stations. Shortly after the war, an open-air altar was built. It is worth walking through there.

In addition to churches, Brabant also has many chapels, so the next stop with a nativity scene is the “Esdonks Kapelleke”, in the middle of nature. Obviously a small church, but very beautiful and picturesque.

The final takes place in the heart of Gemert, where there is a nativity scene with live animals at the Sint Jan Behoofdingskerk. Next to the church is Gemert Castle to complete the picture.

There are also a number of catering establishments on Ridderplein, if you still have time and want to use them.

We will end at the restaurant for drinks, awards ceremony and optional dinner.

What are we eating?

The 3-course menu consists of:


Tomato soup: Vine tomatoes / basil / spring onions
Forest mushroom soup: Porcini / shiitake / oyster mushroom / mushrooms

Main dish:

Black Angus: Black Angus steak / vegetables / veal gravy
Pork tenderloin: Pork tenderloin / vegetables / serrano ham / pepper or mushroom sauce
Salmon: Salmon fillet / vegetables / Hollandaise sauce
Portobello Wellington: portobello / puff pastry / leek / mustard / carrot / beetroot sauce


Dame Blanche: Vanilla ice cream / whipped cream / chocolate sauce / gingerbread
Café Complet: Coffee, tea or cappuccino / chocolates / café Marakesh

What does it cost?

Taking part costs €8 per person for members of GCCC and €10 per person for guests. Dinner is €30.

Are dogs allowed?

Dogs are welcome, provided they are trained, kept on a leash and clean and dry.

Event arrangement

This event has been registered for the event scheme.

Come and join us!

Registration was possible until Sunday, December 10.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, December 17!


To get you in the mood, here is a video with an impression of past Christmas Crib rides made by Paul Ottenhoff, followed by some images of what we did in 2023:

The GCCC excludes any form of damage whatsoever. Photos and videos are also taken during the ride. If you do not appreciate this, you are responsible for this by kindly asking the photographer or videographer not to take images of you or your car (license plate). The photos and videos are generally shared on personal Facebook and Instagram pages of individual participants and the GCCC Facebook page.