The Lithuanian Balloon Championship, a solid bouquet of maritime events – from unique long-lasting ceremonies to the Baltic Sail sailboats, talks with Aurimas Valujavičius, the only concert of Eurovision star Sam Ryder in the Baltic States – this is the spirit of the Sea Festival, which is celebrating its 89th birthday on 21-23 July. The most important marine phenomenon, one of the oldest and most visited events in the country, with almost 100 free events, will this time invite with the slogan “For Western Experiences”.
“As we celebrate the centenary of the return of Klaipėda Port to Lithuania, the Year of Klaipėda Region, we also remember the 1923 accession of Klaipėda Region to the Greater Lithuania. We realise that it is this part of the country that provided the fundamental basis for the Lithuanian state to become a maritime state. Maritime Day is one of the most beautiful and meaningful holidays, when we have the opportunity to honour the people who work in maritime transport – seafarers and their relatives, and the companies operating in the port. By inviting to this long-standing tradition, born as the Day of the Sea, we are taking the maritime whole to another level, reminding the whole of Lithuania that the events of the merger of Klaipėda Region allowed Lithuania to become not only a maritime country, but also a state in general – to maintain its statehood in very difficult geopolitical times. I am proud that the Port of Klaipėda has become the epicentre not only of freight logistics, of moving people by ferry, but also of energy, securing Lithuania’s security. All the highest Lithuanian officials have already been invited to the Sea Festival, so it remains to invite all the citizens of Klaipėda and the people of Lithuania to come here, to discover maritime culture and to see the meaningfulness of the Sea Festival,” said Arvydas Vaitkus, the Mayor of Klaipėda.
A solid part of the maritime programme
The herald of the Sea Festival will be a solemn ceremony of honouring the seafarers at the monument “Albatrossas” – “To those who opened the Sea to Lithuania”, organised by the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority and the Lithuanian Maritime Museum on 20 July at 3 pm. The ceremony includes the presentation of the highest transport awards on the occasion of the Sea Festival: the Liudvikas Stulpinas Medal, the Lithuanian Transport Worker’s Medal of Honour, and the Government and Minister of Transport and Communications acknowledgements.
One of the most unforgettable highlights of the Sea Festival, under the patronage of Algis Latakas, Director General of Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, is the Sea Festival procession. This time the march will be an invitation to “Western Experiences” and will be distinguished by the bold and creative ideas of the bands, not only by the sound of music, but also by the range of musical tastes – from classical to rock. On Friday, 21 July, at 6 pm, the maritime march will start from the traditional place – J. Janonio Street. The particiapnts will then march along Herkaus Manto Street, Naujojo Sodo Street, Pilies Street, to the Cruise Ship Terminal. At the end of the march, the official opening ceremony of the Sea Festival 2023 will take place on the stage of the Cruise Ship Terminal. The presentation of the participants of the procession will traditionally take place behind the Castle Bridge.
To preserve the continuity of maritime traditions, on Saturday morning, 22 July, at 9.30 a.m. At 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, a ceremony will be held at the Smiltyne Cemetery to pay tribute to the first Lithuanian harbour captain, Liudvikas Stulpinas. The crew of the ship Linkuva will be honoured in the Sculpture Park.
A unique ceremony honouring those who have not returned from the sea, during which wreaths of flowers are lowered from ships into the Baltic Sea, will take place on Saturday, July 22nd at 11:00 a.m., when the ships will undock from the berths and take the city’s inhabitants and guests to the ceremony site on the open sea. The convoy of 30 ships will be led out to sea by the Lithuanian Navy’s Vidar-class staff and supply ship N42 Jotvingis. Other citizens of the city will also have the opportunity to pay tribute to the sailors who died in the world waters – members of the Klaipėda Small Vessels Association “Pajūrio laivai” will receive people with flowers in their hands and will carry them to the ceremony of honouring the dead at sea free of charge.
On 22 July at 16:00, the commemorative knecht of the yacht “Laisvė” will be unveiled at the Sailors’ Quay. In the summer of 1993, the yacht “Laisvė” set sail from Klaipėda on a round-the-world voyage and was the first to circumnavigate the legendary Cape Horn. On Sunday morning, at 12 o’clock, the ship set sail for the first time. On Sunday, 12:00, St. John of the Horn will be celebrated in the Orthodox parishes of Klaipėda and in the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace. Mass will be celebrated in the Church of the Queen of Mary of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday morning.
Sailing boats and Sailors’ Square in the Northern Cape
The Sea Festival joins forces with Baltic Sail to welcome sailing ships from Germany, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania to Klaipeda. “Baltic Sail” – is an association of eight Baltic coastal cities – Klaipeda, Karlskrona, Rostock, Zasnica, Gdansk, Szczecin, Nysted and Turku. Supporting traditional sailing as part of Europe’s maritime cultural heritage, the cities are encouraging and inviting owners of vintage sailing vessels to take a voyage around the Baltic Sea, visiting and decorating with sails the festivities that celebrate the maritime culture of these cities. On 21-23 July, during the Sea Festival, two sailing ships from Germany “Santa Barbara Anna” and “Galathea”, four sailing ships from Poland “Bonawentura”, “Baltic Beauty”, “Bryza H” and “Antica”, one from Latvia – “Libava”, and a sailing ship of the type of a gaff-rigged schooner of the Klaipeda University – “Brabander”, a sailing yacht belonging to the Klaipeda University fleet – “Odisėja” and the oldest sailing ship in Lithuania – “Olga” will be at anchor in Klaipeda.
Baltic Sail will be supported by the Sailors’ Square in the Northern Cape. It will offer even more opportunities to immerse yourself in maritime culture, take part in maritime educations, and use virtual reality to travel to places in Klaipėda that are not often seen. The following schools will present their activities in the square: the Lithuanian Higher School of Seamanship, the Lithuanian Seafarers’ Union, the Klaipėda Liudvikas Stulpinas Pro-Gymnasium – the Sea Scouts, the Sea Embassy project, the Lithuanian Sea Captains’ Association, the Lithuanian Seafarers’ Recruitment Companies Association
Sam Ryder’s only concert in the Baltics
On 21 July, the Cruise Ship Terminal’s music programme will be crowned by the most anticipated musical highlight of this summer, a concert by Eurovision runner-up, British music and social media star Sam Ryder.
One of the brightest Eurovision stars of recent times will be performing in Klaipėda thanks to the long-standing partners of the Sea Festival – Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.
“Our share of the joys and responsibilities of the Festival of the Sea is something to be proud of and proud of. For several years now, we have been working together to create and grow the grand procession of the Sea Festival, and organise dragon boat races. In recent years, another direction has emerged – we have realised that there is no good concert without the Port. Last year we had Monika Liu, this year we wanted to attract the whole of Lithuania to Klaipėda by offering something that has never been heard live before. And now, on 21 July, we invite you to a concert by rising British star Sam Ryder. I am happy that every year the Sea Festival is becoming more and more solid and even thicker in terms of solid, maritime events. I wish the organisers good weather, and the good mood is the responsibility of each one of us”, – said Algis Latakas, Director General of Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.
The charming British singer will perform on the first night of the Sea Festival, which will once again be the main concert venue this year. This is the only concert in the Baltic States this year, so there is no doubt that the free opportunity to see the Eurovision star will also attract thousands of foreign visitors.
On 21 July, the Klaipėda Jazz Orchestra, guests from the United States of America – the US Naval Band for Europe and Africa and the Biplan band – will also perform at the Cruise Ship Terminal, as well as Dj Vladas after midnight.
Dangės flotilė ships to decorate the river
On the first evening of the Sea Festival, the ships of the Dangės flotilla entering the Danube River are an inseparable attribute and symbol of the Sea Festival, linking the old and today’s fishing and nautical traditions. This year, the Lithuanian Maritime Museum will organise the 12th parade of traditional and historical ships “Dangės flotilė”. On Friday, 21 July, at 7 pm, all the historical ships of the Dangės flotilla will be welcomed by the host of the evening, Robertas Petrauskas, who will invite them to the mindmouche “(Ne)Medinis protas” (No)Wooden Mind” at 6 pm on Saturday.
Echoing the theme of the event – “On Deck, All Lithuania!” – ship captains, crew members and sailing enthusiasts will again this year invite you to get to know the wooden sailing fleet, to preserve and cherish your own identity and the unique traditions of the old fishermen of the Pamari region. The rich programme of “Dangės flotilė” includes night dances together with the folklore ensemble “Alka” of the Klaipėda City Municipality Ethnoculture Centre, deck talks, excursions, and education.
“During the first Sea Festival in 1934, people came to see a regatta of 50 sailboats competing in the Curonian Lagoon. So we are happy to actually go back to the origins when wooden boats were part of the Sea Festival. This time, the “Dange Flotilla” includes 12 vessels, from grouse to windjammers, the same vessels that are featured in the “National Expedition”. We want to show that the basic principles of sailing apply to these ships as well, so that one can learn not only about the principles of sailing, but also about the history of Lithuania’s maritime state through these ships,” said Romualdas Adomavičius, the captain of the “Kurėnas SüD.1”, historian and Deputy Director of the Lithuanian Maritime Museum.
Air balloons in the skies of the Sea Festival
One of the most prominent visual and content highlights of the 89th Sea Festival programme will be the 31st Lithuanian Hot Air Balloon Championship and the Memel Baloon Trophy international competition; The Lithuanian Hot Air Balloon Championship in Klaipėda is a historic event and will delight Klaipėda residents and all guests of the Sea Festival for the first time.
The Balloon Championship is an event of the highest sporting rating and a real challenge for its organisers – Klaipėda Balloon Club. Although the club successfully organised the Klaipėda Region Cup in 2013 and 2014, this year’s championship will be an even more important challenge. As many as 30 teams from Lithuania, Latvia and Poland will take part in the event.
Balloons will be inviting the citizens of Klaipėda to admire the sky of Klaipėda with their morning and evening flights, which will take place at 6.00 and 19.00 hours respectively, even before the Sea Festival, for four days – on July 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd; In good weather conditions, the flights will be flown from Bangų str. the meadow behind Jonas kalnelis, the future Bastionai namai block.
Balloons will add even more excitement on the two evenings of the Sea Festival – 21 and 22 July. In extremely calm winds of up to 3 m/s, guests of the Sea Festival will be greeted by a “Night Glow” filled with music, lights and laser shows. The spectacular night show on Friday and Saturday nights will entertain for 30 minutes. The inflated balloon has a height of 22-25 metres.
If the wind prevents the balloon domes from going up, then the visitors will be treated to an equally spectacular fire show with rhythmic music, lasers and smoke effects. During the evening performances, the balloons will be based in more than one space – although most of the balloons will be based in the same space from which the competition flights are scheduled to take place – behind Jonas kalnelis, four balloons will be glowing at the TEO building, two balloons will be glowing at the former St. John’s Church site. The spectacular view is recommended to be viewed from Jonas kalnelis, or the Danube River.
Participants of the Lithuanian Hot Air Balloon Championship will settle down in Klaipėda Castle Square, where they will have briefings and meetings. On Sunday, July 23rd, at 12 noon at the Theatre Square. The winners of the championship will be awarded at a ceremony to which all visitors of the Sea Festival are invited. During the days of the Sea Festival, you will have the opportunity to meet the members of the teams, hear their stories and see how the balloons are prepared for flight.
Art tastings, theatrical action and Aurimas Valujavičius
July 21st, 9pm. A special guest of the evening – traveller and travel enthusiast, 2023. Aurimas Valujavičius, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. Later, Edgaras Riabko, F2 Water Formula World Championship driver, and Giedrius Bučas, a public figure and the initiator of the “For a Clean Lithuania” march, will join the conversation.
The Theatre Action Street, a favourite of the audience, returns to the Sea Festival. On Saturday, 22 July, guests of the Sea Festival will be greeted by playful theatre projects and improvisations. The theatrical action will be divided into two main squares and will be greeted by lively performances at the Theatre Square and at the Arka monument. The Kreiva Music Orchestra (Klaipėda Drama Theatre), Pakruojis Manor Street Theatre, Klaipėda Culture Centre “Fishermen’s House” Pantomime Theatre “A”, Klaipėda Culture Centre “Fishermen’s House” “Castle Theatre” with the premiere performance “Dance of Semiramis”.
The intriguing 89th Sea Festival will be highlighted by the live painting plein-air event “Art Tasting with artist Sims Žaltauskas”. For the two days of the Sea Festival – 21 and 22 July – the guests will have the opportunity to get acquainted with painting, the colours of Klaipėda and become an integral part of this unique project. Painting Live – an educational project for children and adults, art lovers and culture gourmets. In the Art Tasting Project, the guests of the Sea Festival will be able to immerse themselves in the world of painting colours, meet the artist and see how a white canvas 200×200 cm is transformed into paintings. Anyone interested in painting (with their own tools) will be able to paint Klaipėda together with the artist, and on the occasion of Klaipėda city’s birthday to exhibit their works at the Klaipėda Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius; The exhibition is scheduled to open on the last day of the Sea Festival, July 23rd, at 1 pm.
The main music venues will be at the Cruise Ship Terminal and Theatre Square. On Saturday, 22 July, a gift from the main sponsor ŠVYTURYS Nealkoholinis: concerts by Rūta MUR, Monique and Vaidas Baumila. 21-22 July at Theatre Square on July 21st, a concert by teachers and students of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and an unexpected project by Klaipėda residents, Nemuno 7, will be a solid addition to the concert series. On Saturday, the musical mood will be created in the Theatre Square by Klaipėda’s Cappella A and their “Lithuanian Retro” programme, as well as Jurga Šeduikytė.
Sea Festival heralds – “Silver Crane Nights”
On July 20th, the exclusive highlight of the 89th Sea Festival will be an evening of Lithuanian cinema – “Silver Crane Nights”. For several years now, the National Film Awards “Silver Crane” have been travelling through Lithuania with the summer film festival “Silver Crane Nights”, where the winners and nominees are presented. Each year, the festival visits around 10 cities, including Klaipėda and its Sea Festival.
On the eve of the Sea Festival, the long feature film “Parade”, the short film “Reisas”, the animated film “Patrikas” and the student work “Blausos” will be screened on the Theatre Square from 9.30 pm. The evening will be hosted by actress Aistė Diržiūtė and a guest who will be in conversation about Lithuanian cinema. The screenings are planned to take place in the open air at the Theatre Square.
St. Magdalena Night Run
On the second day of the Sea Festival, the Sea Festival events will be complemented by a social project – St. Magdalene Night Run to promote breast cancer prevention programmes. For the fifth time, St. This year’s Magdalena Night will be even more packed with educational and entertaining activities. The event traditionally invites you to free breast screening and medical consultations at the St. Francis of Assisi Oncology Centre. In addition to check-ups and consultations, women will be invited to create a floral installation in a space filled with the scent of roses and lavender.
In Karlskrona Square, in a specially set-up tent, you can talk to doctors and win prizes by answering quiz questions, get temporary tattoos, play outdoor checkers or enjoy giant soap bubbles being blown. A giant 4m high breast-shaped balloon will encourage women to take care of their health with the slogan “I’ve had a checkup because I love you!” on it. Finally, the day’s event will be crowned by a night women’s run and walk starting and finishing in Theatre Square, with a “Lithuanian retro” programme presented by Cappella’A from Klaipėda. The organiser of the Sea Festival, VšĮ “Klaipėdos šventės”, will present a concert by Jurga Šeduikytė.
St. Brother Benediktas, the author of the idea of Magdalen Night, invites everyone to join him at 22.00. Stand at the starting line of a run or walk and move together in unity, forming a shining wave of light and hope to support breast cancer patients and survivors.
Source of information Public enterprise “Klaipėdos šventės”.