Lower-key Rīga city festival planned for August 14-16

Despite the ongoing pandemic and looming extraodinary municipal elections at the end of August, plans to hold a Rīga city festival this year have not been shelved, though the celebrations will be of a more restrained nature than in some recent years, the caretaker administration of the Latvian capital announced July 29. 

This year's Riga Festival will take place over the weekend of August 14-16 with Rigans and guests of the city "invited to take leisurely walks, get to know their Riga, visit different parts of the city, meet with their favorite performing artists, go on excursions with friends, enjoy the hospitality of the capital's restaurants and cafes, and participate in sports activities," according to a municipal release. 

"This special time, unlike other years, there will be no big, large-scale events on the waterfront and in the city's central squares, we will skip the heavily-attended fireworks display, but it certainly does not diminish our sense of community and belonging to Rīga, the city to which we wish a beautiful 819th birthday party,” said Maris Krastiņš, Director of the Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council.

Visitors to the festival will still have the chance to take part in 50 different activities in the city streets, parks and squares, as well as watch concerts live on a screen located in the Dome Square.

Concerts will also take place in the suburbs of Sarkandaugava, Jugla, Arkadija Park, Āgenskalns, Imanta, the Kalnciems quarter and elsewhere in the city. A holiday program for children will take place in the Spīķeri quarter, a Big Picnic will take place in Mežaparks, and Spilve aerodrome will host an Aviation Festival.

The organizers of the festival call on the public to comply with the national restrictions and the recommendations of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control in connection with the spread of COVID-19 and to celebrate responsibly.

The Riga Festival program and current events will be available to anyone interested from the beginning of August on the website www.rigassvetki.lv. It has yet to go live but in past years also featured extensive information in Latvian, English and Russian.

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