Due to the diverse programme and good weather conditions, Riga’s 818th birthday was celebrated extensively, and the Riga City Festival was very well attended. At the Festival residents, guests from Latvian towns and regions and foreign tourists were able to enjoy concerts, see exhibitions, watch theatre performances and cinema screenings, shop at the festival’s fairs, visit events for families with children, take part in various sports activities, as well as participate in the Big Picnic and pay a visit to the Festival’s Restaurant.
The visitors of the Festival had the opportunity to spend time in any of the 40 venues and participate in about 100 different festivities on the streets, in the parks and squares of the city, on the shores of the City Canal, in Daugava Aquatorium, in culture centres and at Spilve Aerodrome.
This year’s Festival, along with many of the traditional and popular events, featured a number of new festivities.
On the first day of the Festival, residents could take part in the Big Picnic in Mežaparks and see how the new Open-Air Stage of the Song Festival is being constructed. The celebration of Riga’s birthday started in the very centre of Riga – Dome Square with the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music 100th anniversary season’s opening concert. Another unprecedented event started on this day – SUP Festival “Supiāde 2019”.
On the seconds day of the Festival, residents and city guests could witness Riga receiving a birthday present – a new culture and art venue “Hanzas perons”, where introductory tours, as well as the first concert featuring orchestra “Rīga” and beloved soloists took place. On this day, another new event was introduced – it was the start of Beach Games with different types of sports activities and competitions.
On the third day of the Festival, it was possible to visit the Livonian Song Celebration in Dzegužkalns, which gathered together Livonians from all over Latvia.
Guest artists from other countries also participated in the celebration of Riga’s birthday. This year, visitors could enjoy performances by street circus artists Mr. Banana from Germany and Horn man from Belgium, by clown group Squadra Sua from the Czech Republic, as well as by Taipei circus group FOCA.
This year, Riga City Festival was dedicated to Riga’s legends because legends and history flow throughout the streets of Old Riga and its historical buildings, miraculously coming back to life every time Riga celebrates.
The leadership of Riga City Council expresses gratitude to the creators and implementers of the Festival’s programme, the employees of public order and safety services and everyone who attended the Festival for the nice and warm celebration of the capital’s 818th birthday.