Malmedy TodayIn 1977, the community of Malmedy amalgamated with those of Bévercé and Bellevaux-Ligneuville, thus increasing its population then from 6,300 to 10,000 inhabitants.
These cultural upheavals, typical of border regions, have given the population of Malmedy a special character that can only be realized for its true spirit when one takes part in their daily life. Despite all the changes they have experienced, the people of Malmedy seem to have preserved the qualities recognized by an 18th century English chemist when he stated, “The inhabitants of Malmedy are honest, skillful, opulent, gracious, sociable and courteous towards foreigners.”
The inhabitants’ love of music must also be emphasized. Amongst the nowadays approximately 12,000 inhabitants, there are 7 male choirs, 2 song groups, 4 brass bands, an accordion club and a mandolin club… without forgetting a very active music academy. Proud of their Walloon language and their typical folklore, the people of Malmedy never miss an opportunity to get together to celebrate a festival. In addition to the “Cwarmê” (Carnival), the inhabitants of Malmedy also celebrate “Saint-Jean d’été” (Midsummer's Day), the “Saint-Pierre” (the annual fun fair), Saint-Géréon (in Walloon “Tribodlèdje”) and also Saint Martin's day (“Evêuyes”). Added to these festivals, on July 21 there is the unrivalled national day called ‘La Vrai Fête,’ and then there are others that can be used to meet up at a festival such as the “Heye dès Rwès” (Epiphany). “Cush' nées” (Potato harvest) and “Jahrgang,” a word derived from German that in Malmedy specifically stands for school class reunions. In any event, in Malmedy it would not be a true festival without “rimê è wallon;” i.e. without a speech or recital of a poem in Walloon.