‘Festival on Māra lake is for celebrating in sincere!’
To notice the charm of Pārdaugava
There are three reasons why the festival is organized, according to Inese. ‘The first of them is Pārdaugava’s charm.
How beautiful and historically and cultural-historically rich it is! So, I think that this place deserves more attention than it has earned so far.
Our wish was to show our pride in Pārdaugava, to demonstrate that beautiful experiences and gatherings are not reserve to Dome square and parks of the center alone, but can be found here as well. Another reason was that many interesting and creative people live this side of Daugava; numerous cultural centers and art schools and schools of musical training are concentrated here.’ According to cultural organizer, this festival is the right time for the pupils of musical schools to come out in the streets and show their skills; the time, when their parents can appreciate what their offspring have learned and when the neighbors can demonstrate their achievement.
‘They are unaware, for example, in Iļģuciems cultural center what their Imanta counterparts do and what is going on in Bolderāja. Also, this is opportunity for venues like Museum of Ojārs Vācietis and Jānis Akurāters as well as parishes of the neighborhood to express themselves, as, historically, Arcadia has been place for concerts, Midsummer celebrations and open-air dance. Therefore, we wish to demonstrate creativity of Pārdaugava people. And the third reason was that we wished to call an open-air event for every age ensuring that there is plenty to do for entire day.’
Neighbors are involved
These festivals echo a theme every year, for which a photo show is prepared, historically researched and arranged by cultural centers. ‘Our first festival was dedicated to Māra lake, the second – to the name of Arcadia park, which it received in 1911. Last year it was The Towers of Pārdaugava defined not only architecturally – although Pārdaugava has began from the Red Tower, which once stood in Torņakalns, but also emotionally, so that people could raise their heads and recognize the beauty of Riga.
This years theme ‘24 faces of Pārdaugava’ reflects its twenty four neighborhoods, each – proud of its history, charm and present air.’ Inese Meiere underlines – more people attend these events every year. ‘The epicenter of festival will be here, in Arcadia Park, but other sites of Pārdaugava – Kalnciems quarter, Botanical garden and our many museums – will also be active.
‘Perhaps a time will come when, from Arcadia, the activities will expand to entire Pārdaugava – like ripples a stone creates when thrown in a pond.’
For no one to be bored
There will not be shortage of activities, indeed: the large stage of the park (replacing its historic predecessor) will be busy whole day. ‘The best creative groups and guests will perform there, while the territory of park will be given to workshops; parents will have chance to get to know the pedagogues of their children and teachers will have chance to find new students… Volleyball and street basketball tournaments are also planned, as we have sports school ‘Arcadia’ near. And we also promise attractions, horse and pony riding.’
Everyone interested in cinema will be awaited in the film tent where Pārdaugava themed films will be screened. ‘There was a festival when we had filmmakers Ivars Seleckis and Tālivaldis Margēvičs around, and both ‘Side-street’ films were offered to audience, while, last year, director Lilita Eglīte demonstrated interesting selection of parts of her program ‘At the length of the street’ focused on Pārdaugava. This year, in turn, we have invited animation artists Roze Stiebra and Ansis Bērziņš to talk to public, and later ‘Chronicles of the Last Temple’ by Dāvis Sīmanis will be shown.
To befit the event, it will conclude with an open-air dance, but at 23.00 at night a firework is planned at Māra pond or Māra lake, as it is called among most of people in Pārdaugava, and poet Ludmila Azarova has an opus ‘Magnetic Māra lake,’ Inese Meiere reminds.
By the way, Pārdaugava festival will lie in ‘Road Map’ thematic line of 'Riga 2014' program. ‘Not all people who live in Pārdaugava can reach the activities held in the parks of town center, but Arcadia is certainly accessible for them; to add, many have asked us – why cannot we have things happening here? Although organization of festivals is not among the functions of directorate, we undertake it out of enthusiasm and for the pleasure of giving pleasure. So we are glad for every partner we can find to collaborate with. The festival is our tradition – it will be held on the last Sunday in May every year, and I am convinced, as part of next year’s - 'Riga 2014' - cultural program, it will be even much more expansive!’