THIS SUMMER saw the traditional festival of bizarre vessels, called Utopenec (loosely translated as Drowned One; also the name of a local pickled sausage), change venues from Počúvadlo Lake near Banská Štiavnica to Vindšachta Lake in Štiavnické Bane (both in Banská Bystrica Region).

“Since the first year, we planned to move the festival around to all the lakes around Banská Štiavnica; after five years at Počúvadlo, which already has its own events, we wanted to lure visitors to other destinations, too,” co-organiser Beata Nemcová of the Informačné centrum mladých Banská Štiavnica civic association told the SITA newswire. “We also moved the date to Saturday, as this was more convenient for the performers.”

The event, scheduled for Saturday, August 16, 9:00, was organised as an inspiration for creative folks to build the most bizarre vessel conceivable and showcase it, the TASR newswire wrote. The rule, however, is that all boats must be propelled only by human power.

Utopenec kicked off in the morning with the registration of boats, followed by an official opening featuring the performance of a falconry group, Sokoliari St. Bavona. The competition itself was held in the afternoon. Visitors could also enjoy musical performances by Rebelsky, the ‘rock pastors’ band Pedaropeja and LSG Music.