Kvarner newsletter / no 49

Rijeka Carnival
Be what you want to be!

At the start of every year, Rijeka traditionally lives for the carnival. Rijeka Carnival has begun in January and will culminate in February with the International Carnival Parade and other events to guarantee loads of fun for all participants and spectators, providing a chance to be whatever you want to be for a while.

The 29th Rijeka Carnival, organised by the Rijeka Tourist Board, started on 17 January and will continue for the next five weeks, until 22 February. The central events include the selection of the Carnival Queen, the Children's Carnival Parade on 11 February, and the International Carnival Parade on 19 February.
Rijeka Carnival is the biggest event of its kind in Europe with an attractive programme. This year, there will be some news, such as the big party tent in the town with entertainment programmes for visitors.  This tent will be the finish of the Children's Carnival Parade, which this year will have a slightly different route than usually, but will be attractive as always, with groups of children costumed as characters from fairy tales and movies.    
The highlight of the five-week carnival festivities is the International Carnival Parade on 19 February with numerous groups whose members create original costumes and sometimes criticise actual events in politics, culture and all other aspects of public life in Croatia and the world. This point of view is often illustrated with attractive carnival floats.
The attractiveness of the Rijeka Carnival is testified by the fact that the last year's parade had 107 groups with 9000 participants and numerous floats. It is quite impressive that more than 20,000 people were involved in the last year's carnival, which had more than 600,000 viewers from Croatia and abroad. It is expected that 2012 will bring new records and some interesting comments on actual events, which are always an inexhaustible source of inspiration for carnival groups whose witty comments help us see the daily routine in a more funny way at least for a while.