Tomašević said he was glad to light the first candle, the candle of hope, claiming that people needed hope now, especially for the pandemic to end and for the city to be reconstructed after last year’s earthquake.
Speaking to the press, he said it was difficult to organise this year’s Advent in Zagreb due to the pandemic, but added that in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board and other partners, “we came up with a rich programme with over 120 concerts at some 15 locations.”
He said the eventual realisation would depend on the pandemic and that all concerts and programmes would be held in compliance with COVID rules. He added that COVID certificates would not be required for outdoor programmes.
“We are confident that despite these difficult circumstances, Advent will be good and that people will be satisfied, that they will socialise and finally feel some joy amidst all these hardships and problems,” the mayor said.
Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld said that this year “the pandemic dictates all Advent events as well as all others around the New Year,” adding that if COVID rules were to be tightened, organisers would adapt their programmes.
She said there were many foreign tourists in the city already and that more had announced their arrival. She recalled that The New York Times recently ran a “beautiful” piece on Zagreb, saying it was great for promotion.
The motives of this year’s Advent in Zagreb are traditional Croatian toys as well as music, culture and light.
There are a little under 70 booths at this year’s event, as against 220 in 2019, selling food, drinks and souvenirs as well as 50 specially decorated terraces of hospitality establishments offering special food and drinks.
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