More than 100.000 people will be able to witness a spectacular ceremony honouring Victory day and Operation Storm
If you’re planning to drive to or from Krk island over the Krk bridge tonight and you get stuck in traffic, followed by a large beaming red cloud rising over the road, don’t worry, it’s not the apocalypse – just a one-of-a-kind ceremony.
Two groups of Rijeka’s supporters are joining forces tonight to honour Victory day: the renowned Armada and the Associations of Fans of HNK Rijeka ‘Blue and White Island’. Exactly at 21:00, Krk bridge is closing down for traffic for five minutes to paint the night sky in bright red as 222 football fans light their flares along the bridge.
The number 222 has two symbolic meanings: it marks 22 years that have passed since Operation Storm in 1995, but it’s also meant to honour 222 residents of Primorje-Gorski kotar County who gave their lives for their country as soldiers of Croatian Armed Forces.
“After we marked the 30th anniversary of Armada by organising flare ceremonies in many locations, villages and towns in the counties of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria, it was time for a ceremony that would honour one of the greatest foundations of national pride, the Operation Storm and liberation of our homeland. We decided to stage it on Krk bridge as it connects the two strongest branches of Armada both physically and symbolically – our main seat in Rijeka with our branches on Krk and Kirija. It maybe isn’t the best idea to talk big in advance, but I believe that we’ll set for a flare ceremony that will surpass all of those we organised up until now”, said Denis Povh, representative of Armada.
Multiple layers of emotion will be woven into the ceremony tonight, writes Novi list. The most significant one being the memory of the day our country was liberated, of course, but there’s more to this evening’s event: in the last couple of months, Armada and all other fans of HNK Rijeka had many a reason to celebrate apart from Armada’s 30th anniversary. Rijeka became the national champion for the first time in the club’s history, and also advanced to Champions League playoffs a few days ago. For any fan of Rijeka, this has been an exceptionally good year.
Members of Armada from Krk will ‘conquer’ the side of the bridge closer to the island; fans from Rijeka and neighbouring towns are taking the opposite side. It’s worth noting the event will see Armada members from Cres, Lošinj and Rab; even though there wasn’t much interest for the club on the islands since the 70s, the recent success of Rijeka has revived the enthusiasm all over Kvarner.
Since the bridge has a fantastic geographic position and can be seen from all sides of Kvarner bay, it’s expected that more than 100.000 people will be able to see the flare spectacle. If you’re staying in Rijeka, Lovran, certain places in Grobnik and Hreljin located at a higher altitude, as well as many other places on Kvarner, make sure to look towards Krk island around 21:00 tonight. It’s a rare opportunity to see the bridge on fire – in a good way.
Image source: YouTube screenshots