More than 1,500 Hungarian and foreign carnival parade participants and about half a million live flowers will arrive at the Debrecen Flower Carnival, which has a 57-year tradition and will take place between the 14th and 20th of August 2023.
Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said at the press conference that the 20th of August is a very important day in Hungary because it is Saint Stephen’s Day in Hungary and the celebration of the foundation of the state. He added that it has a special reference to Debrecen, as the Flower Carnival has been held around that time almost every year since 1966. The mayor pointed out that the carnival programmes start on the 14th of August and continue until the 20th of August. He highlighted that more than 1,500 national and foreign parade participants will participate in the programmes. Half a million live and even more dried flowers will decorate the floats. 12+1 flower floats are being prepared for this year’s carnival, with the traditional Holy Crown float opening the parade.
Participants include the 50-year-old Hortobágy National Park, Fórum Debrecen, the Hungarian Post, BMW Group Plant Debrecen, Richter Gedeon, the Debrecen Vocational Training Centre (DSZC), Teva, the Hungarian Defence Forces, the Kodály Philharmonic, the Tranzit Group, as well as the joint car of Oradea and Debrecen will have a flower float this year. The joint car of Debrecen and Esztergom will be exhibited in the Transdanubian town.
The mayor said there will be 37 groups in the carnival procession, with a colourful international line-up, including participants from China, India, Serbia, Spain, Austria, Italy and Brazil.
“This year, there will also be new features. We will use new solutions in the spirit of sustainability. In previous years, an electric flower float was used. In 2019 the University of Debrecen, in 2021, the Future of Debrecen, and last year the Hungarian Defence Forces’ flower float was electric. Six such vehicles are already on the road this year, and we would like to increase this number in the coming years,” László Papp said. This year, tickets will not be sold for one of the grandstands, but the Debrecen Charity Board will provide seats for disadvantaged and needy children, the mayor pointed out.
As for the rest of the carnival week, Réka Mészáros said they are working with many local cultural institutions and NGOs to make the programme as colourful as possible. As in the past, Kossuth Square will be the centre of the carnival’s activities. Popular musicians will also be performing during the week, including Wellhello, Balázs Szabó’s Band, Follow the Flow and Boban Marković, who will be in Debrecen on 20 th of August.
On the 15th of August, the Hungaricum Gala will open the carnival programme; on 16th of August, the Night of Classics will be held in Debrecen with the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Galiba Children’s Festival will welcome families to the amusement park, with this year’s theme being time travel. More than 200 activities with themed children’s games will be on offer. The Beer by Lake beer festival was launched last year, where visitors can sample craft beers throughout the carnival week. This year, the focus is on local beers, with over thirty beer houses, and there will be concerts in the Great Forest.
About the Dancing in the City programme, she said: there will be performances by national and foreign groups, and dancers will take over various public spaces in the city, and the public will be able to join them. A hands-on market will be held on Piac Street throughout the week, and this year’s Botanica Expo will also be held, with lectures and workshops to help plant lovers. The International Flower Arranging Competition will be held for the second time, and the compositions will be displayed in the Kölcsey Centre.
There will also be a career point at the Flower Carnival in cooperation with the BMW iFactory, the DSZC and the University of Debrecen. There will also be programmes and information about career opportunities.
The Bényi Gallery will organise four events: the 41st Hungarian Press Photography Exhibition will be held on Csapó Street, while the Budapest Illustration Festival and the exhibition of the Wonderful Hungary (Varázslatos Magyarország) will be held at the Kölcsey Centre. In Déri Square, visitors can see a crossover production entitled “Impressions – Image, Music, Dance.”
“During the Flower Carnival week, we want to make the city as colourful as possible; with this in mind, several plant compositions will be displayed in different city squares. There will also be two flower stops. There will also be sporting events, games, performances and cultural events, which will be announced on the Flower Carnival website and on our social media platforms,” Réka Mészáros added.