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Top Pick: 2001 Water Sprite Festival

The water sprite, says Slovak legend, is a long-haired creature dressed in green tuxedo and top hat who lives in rivers and streams. Evil by nature, he seizes and drowns anyone daring to get too close to the water's edge.
The 2001 Water Sprite Festival, organised by the Devínska Brána association in Bratislava on Saturday, June 9, will keep with the Bratislava tradition of providing amusement for both the old and the young during its Water Sprite Parade. The tradition dates back to the 18th century, when local fishermen would parade Ferko, the good Bratislava water sprite, through town. Unlike his evil contemporaries, Ferko only drowns 'bad' people, specifically cheats and thieving members of the town council.
The parade begins on the Petržalka side of the Danube river, at the Aréna Theatre (at the end of Starý most [Old Bridge], next to the Lunapark area). Slovak mime Milan Sládek will perform at 14:00, and will later join other festival participants in front of the Slovak National Museum on Vajanského nábrežie 2 as they await the arrival of Ferko.


Costumes are encouraged at the 2001 Water Sprite Festival in Bratislava on June 9.
Courtesy Devínska brána

The water sprite, says Slovak legend, is a long-haired creature dressed in green tuxedo and top hat who lives in rivers and streams. Evil by nature, he seizes and drowns anyone daring to get too close to the water's edge.

The 2001 Water Sprite Festival, organised by the Devínska Brána association in Bratislava on Saturday, June 9, will keep with the Bratislava tradition of providing amusement for both the old and the young during its Water Sprite Parade. The tradition dates back to the 18th century, when local fishermen would parade Ferko, the good Bratislava water sprite, through town. Unlike his evil contemporaries, Ferko only drowns 'bad' people, specifically cheats and thieving members of the town council.

The parade begins on the Petržalka side of the Danube river, at the Aréna Theatre (at the end of Starý most [Old Bridge], next to the Lunapark area). Slovak mime Milan Sládek will perform at 14:00, and will later join other festival participants in front of the Slovak National Museum on Vajanského nábrežie 2 as they await the arrival of Ferko.

At 15:00, the parade will enter the city centre to the corner of Panská and Ventúrska streets, where Ferko will baptise the new Bird Fountain. The fountain will gush Kofola (the Slovak version of Coca-Cola) for the occasion. Music, singing, dancing and performing groups will line the parade route, which ends on Hlavné námestie (Main Square).

Some 160 small children, dressed in water sprite costumes, are expected to join the festivities on Main square. Expecting visitors from around the country, organisers encourage visitors to dress in water sprite costume, as they hope to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest number of humans dressed in such costume at one gathering.


By Zuzana Habšudová

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