One for the weekend: Rīga city festival taking place August 16-18

If you happen to be in the Latvian capital from August 16th to 18th you have timed your visit well, as it coincides with the annual city festival.

A full list of events and entertainments is available at the official website which includes a downloadable booklet. Hard copies will also be freely available throughout the city.

"This year the Riga City Festival is dedicated to Riga's legends. Who does not know the legend about the Big Christopher who once lived on the bank of the Daugava River, helping people to cross the river? Or the legend about why you should never answer the question "Is Riga ready yet?" with a "Yes!" because as soon as this answer is received, Riga will sink into the waters of Daugava," says the municipal-backed LIVE RĪGA website.

"This year, celebrating the 818th anniversary of Riga, events, legends and life stories of outstanding persons are revived in a kaleidoscope of the festive events, allowing to learn, feel and experience the rich history of Riga in versatile musical, theatrical, gastronomic and sportive events in the heart of Riga and its neighborhoods," it adds.

Highlights will include a 24-hour basketball playoff in which the two banks of the River Daugava will battle for a year's bragging rights, a restaurant festival with various examples of street food on offer, the Rīga Sailing Cup and a family-friendly "Garden of Fairy Tales" in Vermanes Park where there will be varied creative workshop and entertainments – wooden games, a soap bubble show, a merry-go-round and games with fairy tale characters, as well as film screenings.

As an added incentive to travel round the city to various different events, public transport on trams, trolleybuses and buses will be free of charge on August 17 and 18 (full details are available at the official website) with changes made to timetables to cater for the expected large number of attendees at some events.

You can follow the festival's official Facebook page for coverage, too.

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