All throughout the summer, towns and cities all over Latvia will be organizing their fun-filled annual festivals, offering local residents and visitors alike unforgettable impressions about traditional Latvian entertainment and culture. For a whole weekend, the festivals will feature arts and crafts markets, farmers’ markets, sporting activities, concerts and open-air dances that will last until the morning hours.
In July, those who like more extreme activities can take a run through the Alekšupīte stream in the romantic town of Kuldīga and participate in its annual water carnival, take a walk on the sunset path and view the sandcastles in coastal Saulkrasti, as well as enjoy the medieval atmosphere in one of Latvia’s most beautiful cities – Cēsis.
In August, Ventspils will hold its city festival, which will kick-off with the unveiling of its flower-carpet and an extensive festival program, including a drag race event at Ventspils Airport and a concert performed by Latvia’s most popular band Prāta Vētra (Brainstorm). The eastern city of Rēzekne also invites visitors to its colorful festival in August, which will also serve as the opening of the city’s Cinema and Music Month at the new Gors Concert Hall.
However, as usual, the largest city festival will take place in Riga in mid-August, which each year gathers thousands of Rigans and guests from all over. The grand three-day festival will be a happy gathering, allowing participants to feel the vibe of the historical city as it is today.
This year marks the 815th anniversary of the port city, and the festival’s program will remind persons of the times when the city was once bustling with foreign sailing ships in the Daugava River, where merchants sold items from far-off lands, knights roamed the narrow streets of Old Town and the air smelled of freshly caught herring. Riga has always served as a gateway to the rest of the world, and the Daugava – a path which connects lands and peoples. The festival will feature a historical atmosphere both on land and on water. The festival’s extensive program will include an air-show at Spilve Airport, as well as musical and theater performances, concerts and many other fun events and activities. Persons will also be able to purchase traditional arts and crafts, as well as a wide variety of tasty goodies from farmers at the various festival markets.
Calendar of festivals in Latvia’s largest cities: