(Re)Discovering Danube Treasures in Vidin, Bulgaria
Thanks to the dedicated organization of the National Tourism Cluster “Bulgarian Guide” (NTC BG Guide), with the support of Municipality of Vidin and Regional Administration of Vidin all the visitors, involving tourists from all over Bulgaria, from the neighboring Calafat, travelers from the cruise ships, and residents of the city were provided with a variety of attractions and entertainment to enjoy across different locations in Vidin.
The opening of the festival was done by the Regional Governor of Vidin, Mr. Lyuben Ivanov: “Vidin's greatest asset is not only its history and culture, but mainly its citizens. Thank you to all the non-professional, but authentic people, groups, and community activists who participate in this festival. They are from different countries, which allows to build bridges between nations", he stated. Mrs. Desislava Mincheva-Yordanova (NTC BG Guide) also greeted the participants and briefly presented the Danube treasures that were to be revealed in the next day and a half.
More than 10 groups from the Vidin District (town of Vidin, villages of Gamzovo, Makresh, Kapitanovtsi, Yasen, and Florentin), as well as from Romania (Craiova and Calafat, and Barka Village) took over the open stage in front of the “Nikola Petrov” Art Gallery. The singing group of the Culture Center "Prosveta 1928" from the village of Gamzovo, which is included in the National List of Bulgaria as "Living Human Treasures", presented authentic folklore, while the dancers led the inter-generational workshop and dance learning outside the main stage, engaging all the visitors – citizens, guests, and tourists. The Romanian folklore groups presented folklore songs and dances, and among the soloist was the popular singer Prof. Sitsa Novak from Turno Severin, who dedicated her life to folklore.
For the curious ones there was an open day in some museums and galleries - Epigraphic Center and Lapidarium, and the Art Gallery “Nikola Petrov”, as well as organized free tour of less-known historical and architectural sites in the city.
The famous national folklore singer Georgi Raykova had performances on the first and on the second day, spicing up the experiences on the main stage. The popular Vidin musicians "Bratya Angelovi" Brass Band raised the mood of everyone, closing the performance part on the main stage with a brief concert. The first day ended with an evening art performance with DJ YvesO, in front of the famous “Baba Vida” Fortress, with music and customized art - light projection.
The second day was marked by a presentation of 15 authentic unique costumes and ornaments, some of which were more than three centuries old (from XIX c.), from representatives of the "Nadezhda 1903" Culture Center, Village of Boinitsa. The youngest model was 2-year-old Deniz Ivanov with short “doloma” and white “vaba”. After the presentation of the costumes, the atmosphere was spiced up by the national folklore singer Georgiya Raykova and performances from the Cultural Centre “Probuda 1295”, Village of Florentin. They engaged the event visitors with an inter-generational workshop and dance learning in front of the main stage.
The rich program of the Festival was enriched by the thematic Alley of Artisans and Local producers, presenting traditions and crafts specific for the region - handmade knitted items, wire jewelry, natural cosmetics, embroidered elements and details, and many other types of souvenirs, that people could have chosen as a gift. Tasting of traditional local wines drinks and sweets couldn’t be missed, including boutique family wine cellar, home brewery, handmade honey products, different sweets, and so on. Next to them was the DANUrB+ Kids' corner - "Danube through the Eyes of Children", where all visitors could have learnt more about the project, good practices, and initiatives along the Danube Region, as the children were having fun, receiving special gifts, and drawing about the heritage across the river.
For the adventurers there were opportunities for bungee jumping from the Vidin-Calafat Danube Bridge with possibility of immersion into the river and Dragoon Boat Sailing with group paddling and a great Danube experience. Unfortunately, the scheduled balloon ascent had to be postponed due to deteriorating weather conditions at the scheduled time in the evening.
All performers and exhibitors of the festivals were awarded with a certificate for appreciation for taking active part at the “Danube Treasures” Festival. Thousands of visitors, participants, performers, guests and tourists of the town of Vidin were enjoying the festival, jointly (re)discovering the treasures of the River.
All visitors expressed a lot of interest in the DANUrB+ project activities and initiatives, enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the Danube and the region, to watch and take part in a rich program, to buy and taste masterfully crafted products, to have lots of fun, and mostly looking forward to this Festival becoming an annual experience!
DANUrB+ project was launched in July 2020 to activate underused cultural heritage and resources on the peripheral and border regions along the Danube River. It is co-financed by the Interreg Danube Transnational Program 2014-2020. The expected result is to increase local development and international tourist attractiveness.
Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF and IPA).