venue: Vistula river embankments at the foot of the Wawel Hill, 24th June

The organisers have announced that in the year 2000 this highly popular event will receive a very special formula. What will make it remarkably unique will be the grand multimedia Midsummer Night Pageant inspired by Krakow’s history and legends, and prepared especially for the symbolic moment of the turn of the century. The first competitions will start early in the morning (i.e. at 11 a.m.) on the Vistula Embankments at the foot of the Wawel Hill. Rowing contests also became a tradition of the Midsummer Day and Floating of the Wreaths. The finish of the canoeing race from Czernichów to Krakow is expected to take place around 6 p.m. At the same time the evening events will be starting: these will be competitions (including the one central for the whole night: Selecting of the Most Beautiful Wreath) and concerts (including that by Maanam, the star of the evening, expected to begin at around 7.45 p.m.) on the main stage by the “Manggha” Centre of Japanese Art and Technology.

The long-awaited culmination of the day will be the nearly one-hour-long pageant, beginning at 9.45 p.m., and preceded by the speech given by the Mayor of the City of Krakow. We will not be too indiscreet if we tell you that huge water screens will be employed for slide and film shows, the marvellously lit pulsating fountains will constitute an additional attraction emphasising the moment when virgins will float their wreaths in the beams of light from mega-searchlights. The powerful loudspeakers will reverberate with music composed especially for the event, whereas the rhythm of the pageant will be beaten by 70 drummers... Inspired both by the history of Krakow, and its legends and tales, the show will let us see and hear numerous references to the city and its castle on the Wawel Hill. Appearing later will be an array famous personages: those known from the legend, recorded in the city’s history, and those living at our times. Together, they will form a sequence of pictures, weaving a tale of the past, present and the future of the city.

Forgetting not the playful character of the event, the organisers of the event would like to present a panorama of the Polish history to the spectators gathered on the bank of the Vistula, extending from the remotest Proto-Slavonic past to this very day. The guides to this walk through the ages will be the archmages of the collective imagination, those who created signs and symbols legible for all and the sundry: Jan Matejko, Jacek Malczewski, and Stanisław Wyspiański. The themes of the 20 successive images unfold into the history of the state: Wreaths and Paganism, Baptism, Piast Dynasty Times, Military Power, Cultural Power, Humanities and Science, The Majesty, Stańczyk the Jester, Decay of the Republic, Military Defeats, Frantic Attempts, Three Stabs: Three Partitions, Poland Awakes in Insurrections, Polish Modernism, First Legionary Brigade, World War II. Holocaust of Polish Jews, Communism, Habemus Papam!, Solidarity, 3rd Republic, and Polish Pope.

The culmination of the programme is the is the final sequence titled Krakow 2000 ending in a laser show and a huge fireworks display – held on both banks of the river and high up in the sky...

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Supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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