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New Year‘s celebrations around Slovakia

ALTHOUGH the economic crisis has reduced the traditional New Year‘s celebrations in some Slovak towns and cities - and modified them in others – still others plan to keep the tradition and lure inhabitants as well as visitors to the streets.

ALTHOUGH the economic crisis has reduced the traditional New Year‘s celebrations in some Slovak towns and cities - and modified them in others – still others plan to keep the tradition and lure inhabitants as well as visitors to the streets.

Apart from less crowded parties in various clubs, restaurants and shows and concerts in theatres, there will be a city party in downtown Bratislava, with stages in the Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo Square. Bands and performers like Polemic, Hex or AMO will be supported by DJ TuSom and hosts, Michal Sabo and Matúš Krnčok. Moreover, there will be ice-skating on the artificial rink in Hviezdoslavovo Square. Later, a Slovak band playing Roma music, Cigánski diabli, will perform with a Hungarian Roma band, Parno Graszt and Chinese (Kongmin) airborne lanterns bearing wishes for the year 2013 will be sent into the sky. Due to celebrations, the pedestrian zone will be closed beginning around 17:00 on the Silvester Day (December 31st) and visitors will be checked at 15 entry points. There will be extra city transport organised on that night until wee hours.

As Slovakia will celebrate its 20th anniversary of independence in early January, the New Year‘s fireworks will take place at the Bratislava Castle, the symbol of the republic. “The fireworks at the (Bratislava) Castle shall express the message that in the first seconds of the New Year, we enter the 20th year of the existence of the Slovak Republic,” Bratislava mayor Milan Ftáčnik told the SITA newswire. Thus – as also Bratislava celebrates its 20 years as Slovak capital, there will be a festive concert on January 1, 2013, in the Main Square in Bratislava, offering the Choir of the City of Bratislava, Hot Serenaders, and singer Peter Lipa. The celebration will be complete with a commemorative video-screening. The celebrations on the break of the year will cost €80,000 this time, with €60,000 being covered by sponsors, Ftáčnik informed SITA.

In Banská Bystrica, locals and visitors will have to manage without a common celebration with fireworks that usually took place in the central SNP Square. “We decided to scrap New Year‘s celebrations in Banská Bystrica and also the city ball, as now, at a time when we need to save resources, we consider it improper to organise such events,” mayor Peter Gogola told the TASR newswire. However, there will be fireworks on January 1, to mark the 20th anniversary of modern Slovakia. Also in the town of Dolný Kubín, there will be no Silvester party in the streets, and the Christmas decorations will also be much more modest due to financial dire. On the other hand, Ružomberok has planned a musical night starting at 21:00 in the Hýrošov Park and continuing till fireworks short after midnight (financed by sponsor, however, according to SITA).

The end of the year will be celebrated also in Košice – the eastern-Slovak city that becomes the European Capital of Culture (Európske hlavné mesto kultúry, EHMK) in 2013. Even before the official launch of EHMK on January 19 and 20, a party is planned for December 31: a Silvester Day for Children starts at 10:00 (lasting until noon) in the Historical City Hall, free for all, offering a host of artists who play specifically for the youngest. This event is being revived after a 10-years break, Zuzana Bérešová of the Košice Council informed The Slovak Spectator. “Revival Silvester 2012” for the more adult ones begins at 20:00 in front of the Immaculata in the Main Street and lasts until 1:00 on the New Year‘s Day. Revival is the key word, as the performers include Abba Born Again, Kabát Revival, Team Revival, Ščamba, dance ensemble Veľké Kapušany and DJ Pepo. There will, naturally, also be musical fireworks and some surprises waiting for participants of this last party in the year 2012. The whole event costs less than €10,000 Bérešová informed.

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