Go ape in Ape
This weekend sees the turn of the small town of Ape (sorry to disappoint, but it's actually pronounced Ah-peh) in northern Latvia to hold its town festival. Many people pass close to Ape on their way to somewhere else – the Estonian border and the main A2 highway are nearby – but now you have a perfect excuse to visit the place itself which is a pleasant one with cobbled streets and very nice riverside walk.
The festivities include a craft market along Avotu street, a beach volleyball tournament, various musical performances (including a Queen tribute) and the opening of a new craft house.
If you're still wondering about the odd-in-English name, one theory is that it is a contraction of the name of the German manor of 'Hoppenhof', which over time became 'Oppe', then 'Ope' and finally 'Ape'.
Jelgava – the land of milk and honey
On August 26, the city of Jelgava will host the 23rd Milk, Bread and Honey Festival and the 21st Latvian Regional Cheese Day. If ever there was cause for a picnic, this is it (weather permitting).
Visitors will be able to meet bakers, beekeepers and producers of dairy products from all over Latvia in Duke Jēkabs Square, and cheese producers in the square behind the Culture House. At the end of the day, a festive concert ball will be held at the "Mītava" open-air arena.
Zilupe – last stop in Latgale
The people of the eastern Latgale region are renowned for being extremely hospitable, so if you'd like to experience some Latgale hospitality this weekend, the small town of Zilupe close to the Russian border is a good bet. August 25 will see the city park hosting pizza on the grill, honey and various sweets, as well as master classes, joint creation of an art object, face painting and bubbles. Then on August 26 at the Zilupe Culture House you will be able to buy various goodies at the market of artisans and crafts, as well as participate in various workshops and listen to musical performances.
Sports lovers will have the opportunity to prove themselves in 5-a-side football and mixed volleyball. The start of the competition at 10.00, registration from 09.30. From From 11:00 to 16:00 in Zilupe City Park, it will be possible to see a special exhibition of the State Border Guard, along with demonstrations of canine and service dogs. The celebrations round off with a concert, dance and fireworks display.