The 440-year-old city of Karlovac celebrated its birthday milestone last night with a pyrotechnic bash in the city centre, featuring flaming bonfires and a kaleidoscopic display of fireworks. Revellers gathered along the bridge and the banks of the Kupa river to gaze at the firework display, synchronised with the six-pointed star of the city centre, first designed in 1579.
The ‘Stellar Summer’ festival celebrates the city’s 440 birthday on July 13. Very few cities in the world can recount their exact birthday, making the event rather unique to Karlovac. Hosted by the Deputy Mayor Andreja Navijalić, Karlovac welcomed thousands to view the spectacle.
The programme of birthday celebrations called ‘Stellar Summer’ is far from over, with an array of performances left to see until the big Summer Waltz on July 13. All events are totally free to attend, and showcase some lesser-known traditions and cultures from Continental Croatia.
You can experience hot air balloons floating over the city centre. Or if you're interested in getting technical, join the walks through the balloon dome between Friday 28 -Saturday 29 June. On June 30, the 22nd International Folklore Festival sees theatre and dance routines from all over the world take to the stage, including dance academies from Beijing, Mexico and Ukraine. You can watch the first day from Karlovac’s beautifully decorated main stage in the basketball court in Šanco. The festival spreads across the whole week across different parts of Karlovac.
The festival’s closing event lands on the birthday of Karlovac, with a giant waltz in the Josip Jelačić square. Over 440 couples are taking part and the invite is open to all couples. At 10pm, popular Croatian singer Gibonni plays a free concert in the open air.