Bobbejaanland is a theme park in Lichtaart, Belgium. The park was founded by Bobbejaan Schoepen, a Flemish singer, guitarist, and entertainer who enjoyed international popularity in the fifties and early sixties. In 1959 he bought a 30 hectare marsh, had it drained and built a 1000 capacity venue that opened in December 1961 as Bobbejaanland. This developed into an amusement park and remained in his possession until he sold it in 2004.
For its first decade after opening the park centered on water attractions and performance spaces. Numerous variety artists from the Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany appeared there. Following the advice of Phantasialand owner Gottlieb Löffelhard, Bobbejaanland evolved from 1975 onwards into a theme park, with rides becoming more important than music shows. It grew to fifty attractions with four hundred employees and received visitors from the Benelux countries, France, and Germany. As an independent family concern, it also supported educational and cultural projects. By the end of the seventies, Bob's wife Josée opened a museum with works of art from the Hopi and Navajo cultures, forming an extensive private collection of Native American art.
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