48th Europeade brings folk dance groups from all over Europe to Tartu

The European biggest festival of folk arts will gather 3,000 participants to the summery Tartu. During four days, 143 groups from 27 countries will present their cultures and traditions. The longest journeys will be taken by the Faroese, Greenlandic and Cypriot visitors, the biggest numbers are coming from Finland, Latvia and Germany.

“Which European corner’s traditional dance and song culture is interesting or even exotic for an Estonian, varies from person to person. All the more so as leisure travellers going abroad are very rarely offered any folk culture. Therefore, Europeade will certainly be interesting and mind broadening for our people – they can see how the men from the Sardinians sing, what kind of voice the Greenlandic make, what dances Andalusia has, how the Irish step or the Bavarians toddle – each group brings specialities from their neck of the woods,” says Ants Johanson, Europeade 2011 project manager about the variegation of the arriving groups.

Over the course of five days, visiting groups will perform in the centre of Tartu at concerts of wind bands, children and youth groups, choirs and vocal ensembles. Every night, the centre square hosts a Europeade Simman (Ball). In addition to the street concerts, the Tartu Song Festival Arena will host an internationally organised grand opening on the July 21st at 19:00 and a final concert on July 24th at 19:00. Great procession through the city will culminate with the final concert.

During the Europeade traditional Tartu Hanseatic are held also. Traditional towns that are already well-known to visitors of the Hanseatic Days, such as Jaani Town, River Town, Rae Town and Children’s Town will be built in the city centre of Tartu. The revitalised Country Town in Pirogov Park will include the Europeade Forum exhibition. The exhibition will highlight various places from Tartu County and from across Europe. As has become customary at the Hanseatic Days, there will also be a few new towns for visitors to enjoy. The Science Town on Toome Hill and Iron Town on a riverbank near the market square will delight anyone that pays them a visit. The annual Hanseatic Fair will, as always, form the backbone of the festival with hundreds of trades people selling their unique handicrafts made from traditional and natural materials as well as interesting merchandise and culinary curiosities.

Europeade is the expression of a belief in the friendship and brotherhood between the peoples of the European continent, founded on the idea of “unity in diversity”. It takes concrete form, among others, in an annual gathering of thousands of Europeans who come together over five days to give expression to this conviction – through the folk arts and traditions of their respective regions.

To encourage the growth of this idea, the Europeade event has been hosted in a different country each year for 47times, the practical organization being entrusted to a local committee in collaboration with and under the auspices of the International Committee. Declaration of agreement, with the approval for the formation of an International Non-Profit Organization, called EUROPEADE, of which the headquarters are located in Antwerpen, and for the foundation of an editorial commission for compiling the official statutes.

Information about the groups arriving is available at www.europeade.eu

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