Ventspils to Celebrate its 733rd Birthday “Virpuļo!” (Let's Whirl!)

19.07.2023 - 14:19
Ventspils City Festival events are planned from 4 to 6 August. This year the City will celebrate 700+33.
 Ventspils to Celebrate its 733rd Birthday “Virpuļo!” (Let's Whirl!)
Three days of celebrations filled with flowers, music and the new toboggan whirl. More than forty events for every resident and visitor. With the renovation of the Ostas Street Promenade, the main events will take place in the City's centre - in the Big Square and the Renķa Garden.

Programme HERE 

On 4 August, the opening ceremony of the Festival will take place in the Amphitheatre of the Concert Hall "Latvija", with the awarding of the City Council prizes and a musical programme featuring the Mirage Jazz Orchestra, singer Marta Giulioni (Italy) and Massimo Morganti, one of the leading Italian trombonists and arrangers. At the end of the day, Žoržs Siksna will invite everyone to the Old Town Market Square, while the Green Room of the Concert Hall "Latvija" will host an evening concert in "(non-)academic" mood.

Saturday morning will start with a colourful festive procession along the Lielais Prospekts, where the City's businesses, institutions, work collectives and like-minded groups will present themselves. 

The magnificent creations of the 21st International Flower Carpet Festival will be showcased in the Big Square. Florists from Spain, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Latvia will be on display. Leading Latvian chefs and bartenders will also be there throughout the afternoon with a special programme. Good music, dancing, delicious and refreshing cocktails, chefs' masterpieces, competitions, prizes and positive emotions. We will spend our musical moments in sunny reggae rhythms with rapper and producer Strübergs and Horens from the band "Riga Reggae".

The cosy Reņķa Garden will delight with its musical diversity. Latvian bands "Otra puse" and "Rīgas modes", the expressive guys from Germany "Brass Riot" and distant guests "Tofa Jaxx" from Tanzania will perform at the Festival. The ladies will be interested in the products of nearly 50 of the best Baltic fashion, jewellery and accessory designers. Children and young people will be entertained by the contemporary art project "Māksla uz riteņiem" (Art on Wheels).

The festivities in the Old Town will feature the traditional Book Festival of the Ventspils Library, this year themed "Droša un tīra Eiropa" (Safe and Clean Europe). Latvian book publishers will be present in the Town Hall Square with their products, and Raitis Zapackis will be playing music with a programme for both young and old. As usual, the authors of the books of Ventspils City and region will be awarded. The Old Town Market Square will be the place to shop. Happy hours await every visitor to the House of Crafts. In the Livonian Order Castle, medieval battles, everyday life and workshops full of happiness. Medieval chants "Muļķības slavinājums. Folijas" (Praise of Nonsense. Follies) and "Madrigāli. Dziesmas mātes valodā" (Madrigals. Songs in the Mother Tongue). 

Artisans and home producers from all over Latvia will be comfortably set up in the New Town Square by the fountain "Sun Boats", while the Mill Square with its Annels attractions will be waiting for the little festival-goers.

The popular Science Centre VIZIUM will offer technology workshops and other exciting activities for families with children on its terrace. 

Sporting excitement will reign at the 6th and final round of the Latvian Open Powerlifting Championship, which will take place at the Olympic Centre "Ventspils" near the Ice Hall, while the Latvian Drag Race Festival will take place on the territory of Ventspils Airport.

The most active part of the day will be the Ventspils Big Band and soloists Ralfs Eilands and Elza Rozentāle. The programme will include music by the acclaimed composer Zigmārs Liepiņš. A special musical surprise at the culmination of the evening - the dance music project "House Gospel Choir" from Great Britain. Led by Natalie Maddix for more than 10 years, this uniquely striking vocal group brings together dance music and 10 energetic singers with perfectly polished voices. Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Emilie Sande and DJ Jax Jones are just some of the musical greats with whom "House Gospel Choir" has shared the stage at Europe's biggest music festivals. They have collaborated with well-known artists such as Ella Henderson, Nile Rodgers, "Rudimental" and others. 

After the closing concert and a festive speech by Ventspils Mayor Jānis Vītoliņš, the sky will be lit up with a spectacular fireworks display. The pyrotechnic elements will be shot into the night sky from the Olympic Centre and the best visibility of the show will be from the Big Square, the Lielais Prospekts and nearby areas.

Saturday night will be full of fun, with late-night rides of the locomotive Mazbānītis, whirling around the illuminated toboggan track, and dancing the night away at the Reņķa Garden Night Dance, featuring music by "Citi zēni", "A-Europa" and "Krata", with the well-known Latvian rapper Edavārdi and his stage mates. In a more peaceful mood, Roman Catholic Church Ventspils Saint Cross invites you to a night concert featuring our own Ventspils vocal group. 

On Sunday, 6 August, a lively morning at the Children's Town and an active afternoon at the Children's Park "Fantāzija", where Cronopio the Clown from Argentina will be visiting. For the little ones, a foam party, and for the youngest, a crawling competition.

At the Seaside Open Air Museum, the Crafts Day will be lively with activities for children, a mini Zoo and a concert by the band "Lauku muzikanti". On Sunday, the traditional bards' concert at the Pārventa Bandstand, and the anniversary concert of the beloved singer Marija Naumova at the Concert Hall "Latvija" will take place. 

The Festival is supported by: Freeport of Ventspils Authority, SIA "Bucher Municipal", AS "BMGS", foundation "Nākotnes Atbalsta fonds", SIA "Kurekss", SIA "Kurzemes granulas", SIA "Užavas alus", SIA "VK Tranzīts", SIA "Moller Auto", SIA "Ventplac", SIA "Bio Venta", SIA "VIA" and Ventspils State City Council.