Although the planned traditional event – a three–day fiesta will not take place due to the situation in the country, it is obvious that the quarantine will not prevent Kaunas residents from celebrating the city’s 612th birthday. On this occasion, a joint cultural gift is already being prepared for the 23rd of May. This year, festive initiatives are moving to the courtyards of the blocks of flats, streets of residential areas and virtual space. Cafes and restaurants will also offer safe community dinners in Laisvės Alėja (the Liberty Avenue).

Cultural Institutions and Communities Coming Together

The upcoming city birthday programme is special because this year it is developed by a huge number of Kaunas cultural institutions. Among them dance and music ensembles, Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Vincas Kudirka Public Library, Cinema Centre Romuva, city theatres, museums and Kaunas 2022 VšĮ team coordinating everything.

Performances, concerts, educational programmes and other interactive activities will become a common gift to residents from cultural and artistic institutions. Kaunas communities are also actively involved in preparing festive surprises, ready to fill the city with joyous bustle together.

“I keep saying that not somebody else but we are all working together to create our city. So this time I propose to contribute to the preparation of Kaunas birthday so that everyone can celebrate it. Share the news with your neighbours, friends and relatives. 612 years is a wonderful anniversary, thus I would like to invite you to celebrate it loudly while creating a special festive atmosphere”, said Mr. Visvaldas Matijošaitis, Mayor of Kaunas.

 

Invitation to hoist flags

Kaunas hoisting flags will further enhance the festive atmosphere, therefore Kaunas residents are invited to place these symbols of the city in front of their homes that day.

“We are living in an exclusive period, so Kaunas will celebrate this birthday differently, i.e. the usual grandiose birthday celebrations will be replaced by a lot of pleasant surprises and extraordinary performances on 23rd of May. Creative entertainment will take you to the city courtyards and streets on a festive Saturday.

We would like to invite residents not to remain indifferent to the initiatives of Kaunas cultural institutions and join in the creation of Kaunas birthday programme – to hold performances in their spaces, to communicate and to congratulate the city and each other”, invited Mr. Simonas Kairys, Advisor to the Mayor.

The new concept of the event is clearly defined by the motto of Kaunas birthday this year: “Courtyards Opening Up, City Celebrating!”.

As said by Ms Virginija Vitkienė, the Head of Kaunas 2022 VšĮ, Kaunas’ birthday coordinating institution this year, such a celebration, where the city’s cultural and business institutions, artists come together, members of the community, neighbours and residents actively participate in and create the celebration, reflects the key values of the European Capital of Culture, that Kaunas will become soon, in 2022: sociality and joined creativity, openness, love for the home city, its history and the present.

 

Festive dinner in the heart of Kaunas

Kaunas birthday programme in the city centre will be complemented by the idea of “Courtyard Fiesta”. Cafes and restaurants are welcome to take out tables with chairs decorated with flowers and white tablecloths across the renovated Laisvės Alėja from 05:00 pm on the evening of the 23rd of May.

Kaunas residents and guests of the city will be invited to take seats at the tables set up for the festive dinner at a safe distance. Residents of the city are invited to do the same by taking out tables at their own houses, closer to the gates of the courtyards. This will make it more convenient to wave and mingle with neighbours and create a stronger sense of community.

“For the first time since the quarantine was relaxed, Kaunas residents and guests of the city will be able to sit down comfortably at a long festive table extending across the entire Laisvės Alėja. Certainly, we will have to observe safe distance and other inevitable restrictions, but most importantly, we will again be able to experience the joy of being together, to maintain a lively conversation”, said Mr. Mantas Jurgutis, Deputy Mayor of Kaunas.

According to him, the last highlights of the festive programme are currently being arranged. Due to the current quarantine restrictions, many performances will not be announced in advance and will become a pleasant surprise for Kaunas residents.

All information about the upcoming event can be found on Facebook event page: gimtadienis.kaunas.lt