The Bulgarian city of humor and satire is getting ready for celebration and lots of laughter. One of the most anticipated events is coming up - the famous Gabrovo Carnival. It will take place in the period May 21 to May 23 and will shake the whole city with a series of initiatives, all united under the bright idea of proving once again that "the world has survived because it has laughed."
Unlike 2020, when the festival was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year's edition will be held live, the organizers say. But because of the complicated epidemic situation, the carnival will not take place as tradition dictates. In the upcoming sunny weekend, Gabrovo citizens and guests to the city will participate in the so-called "Upturned Carnival". In the past the carnival was moving and people were watching it, but now people will be moving and the carnival will "watch them". In other words, the carnival procession will be "static" but live and interactive on Saturday. For this purpose, carnival models on different topics will be placed along the route of the carnival procession.
"We are known for our humorous political comments during the carnival," Martina Grueva, PR of the municipality, says. “During the festival you can see different political figures as we pay attention to current social issues through carnival paintings and models. There will be an overview of the carnival from older times to the present day, but people will also see Boyko Borisov’s favorite jeep, Slavi Trifonov’s red Ferrari and other politicians. We will talk about vaccines and immunization, as we compare the Bulgarian vaccine to the American one. The models themselves are several meters high. Artists have made them out of Styrofoam using special techniques.”
Usually, the Gabrovo Carnival gathers an audience of about 35-40 thousand people, while the carnival procession includes over 2,500 people. They are often joined by masquerade groups coming from abroad. This year, however, no foreign guests will arrive because of Covid-19. But the interest and desire for entertainment among the audience seems to be greater than ever. Here are some interesting highlights in the program:
"There is a Night of Museums on Friday - all museums and galleries will be open from 5 pm to midnight and people will be able to visit them and participate in the events there,” Martina Grueva says.
“In Dechkova House there will be a celebration of ‘shtirnik’ (a type of traditional pastry); in the Museum of Industry there will be a piano bar with live music. Pavel Pamukchiev, Bulgaria's top bartender will be our guest. The Art Gallery will present live paintings with actors from the local theatres. There will be a pajama party with a DJ in the House of Humor and Satire - you need to wear pajamas and slippers or they won't let you in."