1,200 domestic dancers, 400 foreign carnival performers and around 500,000 live flowers will be at the Debrecen Flower Carnival, which is already bringing together nearly 3,000 people. With a 56-year tradition, the carnival is now much more than just a parade of spectacular floral compositions and international artistic ensembles – it is a week-long colourful programme of events where visitors can find the entertainment that appeals to them most. This year it will take place from 15th to 21st August.
On the opening night of the Debrecen Flower Carnival on 15th August, the Night of the Classics, and the Mexican opera singer Ramon Vargas will once again be with us for an unforgettable concert with the Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra. Their music will fill Kossuth Square from the stage in front of the Great Church. On this day, the “Dancing in the City” project will be launched, with 1,200 dancers from dance groups from Debrecen and the surrounding area performing in various locations and squares in the city centre.
The Nagyerdei Beer Garden | Beer by Lake opens – and is open until the 21st – this year focusing on local craft beers – so the public can taste, among others, BAZ Beer, Békésszentandrás Szent András Brewery, Ugar Brewery, Mad Scientist, Hajdú Serház, HopTop Brewery, Viharsarok Brewery – while the well-established Czech beers will also be on the menu. The Nagyerdei Sörkert | Beer by Lake promises to be a fun and exciting event, with the host of the event, Róbert Winkler, responsible for the atmosphere. The Hungarian Press Photography Exhibition will be held in the city, in collaboration with the Bényi Gallery, on Csapó Street.
During the whole carnival week, local artists will be inviting visitors to a craft fair to show their products at Piac Street 1-3.
On the second day of the carnival week, 16 August, the Local Police Band will perform a concert on the Open Air Stage. And the Billufest, a contemporary illustration exhibition, one of the year’s trendiest exhibits, will open at the Bényi Gallery.
The week-long carnival aims to cater for all needs and appeal to all ages. The Galiba Children’s Festival will kick off on the 17th, to the delight of families and their little ones, and will again be held at the Nagyerdei Kultúrpark – Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park. The renewed amusement park is already a great place for children to play, but the Children’s Festival will also feature interactive and exciting stage performances and games. This year’s programmes will focus on the professions. The Galiba Children’s Festival is free of charge for families, offering a perhaps unique opportunity in the country for families to spend up to five days with less financial burden.
In the evening, the Kacaj Orchestra will come to Dósa Nádor Square with a great atmosphere, a street music and a joyful dance that will surely fill the whole square.
From 20.30 p.m., fans of the band and the charismatic singer Bíborka Bocskor will be able to enjoy a concert by the High Mountain Underground.
On 18 August, 13 foreign dance groups from all over the world will come to Debrecen, including dancers from India, Spain, Colombia, Italy, Turkey, Belgium and Germany, all dressed in spectacular costumes. It has been a tradition for many years to plant the Székely Park with the Szőregi rose, a Hungarian national treasure, to show how people from all over the world live and work together in peace. In the city centre, there will be square music and brass bands, and the “Nights of Lights” will begin on this day. The creative concept includes a play of artificial and natural lights by local and foreign dancers, and also refers to the spectacle of the lavish light painting and light parade that will bathe the city centre, Kossuth Square, Dósa Nádor Square and Lake Békás in wonder. For the first time in Debrecen, and the second venue after Budapest, the Digital Art Exhibition Cinema Mystica will be presented, which promises to be one of the most exciting events of the week. At 8:30 p.m, Andrea Malek will give a concert on the Open Air Stage.
On 19 August, a traditional element of the programme will be launched – the Green Fair begins! Plants will also feature in this new programme element and this year, for the first time, plant lovers will be guided by exhibitors, vendors and speakers of the BOTANICA Horticultural Expo at the Kölcsey Centre and Baltazár Dezső Square. You can expect lectures and discussions on the tricks of outdoor and indoor flower care, how to look after possums or cacti, what to feed birds in what season, but also practical tips on garden care and which plants to keep on balconies in the city centre.
An international flower arranging competition will also be held on this day. It is also open to those who are interested in beautiful flower arrangements for their aesthetic value, but also to those who are interested in flower arranging and would like to learn a few techniques from the competitors.
In the evening, a concert by Miklós Fenyő and an 80s party will be held on Kossuth Square.
The 4th Night Ride is growing in popularity every year. Employees from various companies and individual participants, families and friends come to the huge night bike parade, where everything is about colourful and imaginatively decorated bikes. A call for entries and registration will be available soon.
During the Debrecen Flower Carnival, the organisers are also encouraging local residents to get out on their bikes as much as possible, so they are also running a prize draw.
If you choose public transport, there are surprises in store – bus stops and green oases, and even a chirping tram.
The carnival parade on 20th August is also an important tourist event during this period. It fills the area’s hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and private accommodation, so it’s safe to say that the event is attracting interest nationally and promises to be an exciting event for visitors from across the border.
The carnival parade will gather at Petőfi Square and the carnival procession will start at 9.00 a.m. On the route of the parade there will be the possibility to take a seat in the grandstands – Rózsa Street, Piac Street, the Great Church, Hatvan Street, Bethlen Street, Egyetem Avenue and finally Nagyerdei Boulevard, where the carnival procession will take place.
For the first time in the history of the Debrecen Flower Carnival, the event has a main sponsor, Metal-Sheet Ltd. In addition to the companies that launched the flower float as a newcomer, it is worth highlighting the companies that did not let the public down when times were harder, such as A.K.S.D. Városgazdálkodási Kft., Debrecen Vocational Training Centre, Debrecen International Airport, Fórum Debrecen Shopping Centre, Hungarian Postal Service, Richter Gedeon Nyrt., Schaeffler Hungary and Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd..
This year’s 12 flower carts do not have a unified theme, so the sponsoring companies and the artists who created the flower carts were given free rein to showcase their creativity. They try to show their mission and motto by using as many live flowers as possible in their inspired creations. In many cases, the designs go back to children’s cartoon characters, because a lot of children come to the Debrecen Flower Carnival – and they want to amaze them with their huge flower figures.
Hundreds of thousands of dahlias and other live flowers for the flower floats and statues will come from the Netherlands, the home of tulips. Almost 2,000 dancers and a brass band will accompany the carnival procession.
The flower floats will be on display in full for one day only, on 20th August, at the flower float exhibition following the carnival parade, for which admission is charged, in the North Event Area of the Nagyerdei Boulevard and Nagyerdei Stadium – after which some of them will be transferred to Oradea.
Under the title “Impressions – image, music, dance”, visitors to the Nagyerdei Park will be treated to a real crossover production under the guidance of the Bényi Gallery. The programme will feature young artists and dancers embracing easels, around which contemporary and modern dancers will constantly alternate, performing choreographies and improvisations in response to music. The impressions and moods that emerge will provide the themes that the artists will bring to canvas.