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19 Aug 2013

Annensky Fair in Belarusian Zelva on 23-24 August

GRODNO, 19 August (BelTA) – Annensky Fair (Gannensky Kirmash) will take place in the Belarusian town of Zelva on 23-24 August, representatives of the Ideology Department of the Zelva District Executive Committee told BelTA.

The organizers have gone an extra mile to arrange the fair, which is loved by residents and guests of Grodno Oblast. The event dates back to the 18th century when merchants from entire Europe would gather in Zelva.

This year the two-day fair will take place in the district capital’s center and will be useful for manufacturers and sellers, fans of folk crafts, sportsmen and tourists. A roundtable session will be held on the first day to discuss the fair’s history and prospects. It will be followed by a Grodno Oblast contest of woodcutters and a ceremony to honor leaders of the harvesting campaign. Concerts and dancing are scheduled for the evening.

A theatrical performance in the town’s central square will resume festivities on Saturday.

Sites of the district’s folk crafts and folk craftsmen will be located in the central public garden. Farm tourism estates and representatives of small and medium enterprises will present themselves in Sovetskaya Street while agricultural producers will stay in Selskokhozyaystvennaya Street. Amusement rides will be opened for children. Sites for pictorial arts, music, and sports will be arranged, featuring master classes in regional dances and a performance by Guinness Book kettlebell lifting record holder Vyacheslav Khoroneko. A contest of horse carts will take place at the stadium. The extreme theater Berserk from Minsk will arrange a performance by stunt actors, a knight show, and firing ranges featuring arbalests and bows.

Organizers of the fair will name winners of the contests for the best costume styled after the fair, the best site for agricultural enterprises and business, and winners of the previously held contests for the best fair scenario and other ones. Woodcarvers will present results of the plein air session to be held on the previous day.

The Gannensky Kirmash’s concert program features the German music band Wudwor, art groups Belarusy and Feyeria, a gypsy show Allure, and the music band Tutejszaja Szlachta from Minsk.

The end of the fair will be as pleasing to the eye as the rest: fireworks will be arranged in the square and a foam and laser show will take place near the community center.

Named after Saint Anna, Annensky Fair (Gannensky Kirmash) was one of the largest and most famous fairs in Europe, the second one after the fair in Leipzig in the 18th century. The fair would gather up to 5,000 merchants, with the trade turnover up to 1 million gold rubles. The fair would last for about a month. Zelva was the place to buy horses, tobacco, spices, clothes, footwear, art products made by craftsmen from various countries – Greece, Turkey, Persia, and many other ones. It was said back then that Zelva and its residents live according to a strange rule: they wither for 11 months and live for only one month.

The tradition of the fair has been reborn thanks to joint efforts of the Zelva town administration and the EU/UNDP project on sustainable development at the local level.


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