Author: Slobodan Kadić
November 29, 2023 – And so it begins. The festive month in Otočac will be especially interesting to fans of technology. Otočac Advent is bringing something quite new and exciting.
Among other things, visitors will be treated to a 3D Christmas search for Santa Claus. Towards the end of December, in the thoughtfully lit-up city park, there will be a Christmas mini showroom. There, you can try the Meta Quest 3 and Met Quest Pro devices to step into virtual reality, which is becoming a part of our everyday life. Otočac Advent begins on December 2 with a concert by Klapa Iskon. As for the main events, the locals and guests will be ushered into the New Year by the band Spice Grills.
At the beginning of December, Otočac City Park will become a large open-air stage, hosting concerts of tamburica, pop and rock music, attractive dance programs, a fair of local products and workshops for children with Santa Claus. Bring your little ones, because Grandma has already prepared the ingredients for the best cookies, but she still needs the most important “spice” – happy children’s laughter and the hands of little helpers.
If you’re looking to stay in shape during the holidays, though, the ice rink is open every day, accompanied by the food and drinks offer. The Golden Ušćipak competition will see teams battling it out to fry up the perfect little holiday treats, certainly with plenty of laughter and fun. Ušćipak is the local name for the delicious fried little balls of dough, also known as fritule, similar to doughnuts, which have become a staple for Advent all over Croatia
The abovementioned 3D Christmas search for Santa Claus will start at the local market and pass through five locations. You can get from one to the other by solving a quiz, and each location is hosted by a different virtual Christmas character or object that needs to be photographed. The participants of the Christmas search can submit their photos to the tourist board, which will organize a photo exhibition and select the most interesting ones. In addition to Mrs. Claus, the beloved St. Nicholas and Santa Claus, who bring sweet little packages to the youngest, will ensure a great and cheerful atmosphere. On top of sports activities and brainstorming sessions (pub quizzes), it is certainly worth mentioning the Otočac fire brigade Orchestra as well as the Tamburica Orchestra of the Gacka Pučko otvoreno učilište Otočac, who will also prepare a variety of musical splendour for this occasion.
Last year, Otočac Advent won a high second place for the most beautiful Advent in Croatia in the category of small towns, among the total of 53 contestants. The competition was conducted on the Facebook page Gradonačelnik.hr under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
“This year, we have enriched and completed the program, and we will try to win first place. This depends primarily on our fellow citizens from Otočac and the entire region, because their votes count. I would like to emphasize the important and already traditional involvement of local producers, associations, sports clubs and folklore societies, public institutions, entrepreneurs and companies, who contributed to the preparation and implementation of this year’s Advent program. Also, I hereby invite everyone to visit Otočac Advent and indulge in the Christmas magic in Gacka, “said Viktorija Rogić, director of the tourism board of the City of Otočac.