The reception was held at the cultural arts center. There were over a hundred people in attendance. We got to shake hands with the mayor and the council members. The mayor made a short speech welcoming all the new residents and then a short film about the area was shown. Following the film, the SHAPE jazz band offered a concert and following that was a ceremonial toast.
This reception marked the first time that SHAPE families were invited. This was not because Soignies didn't wish to welcome SHAPE families, rather they did not have a way of tracking us down. They worked with SHAPE to make that possible. In addition, they provided an English translator who translated the mayor's remarks.
All in all it was a pleasant evening and while we could not stay for the whole reception, it was nice to be included in such a hospitable tradition.