Advent Magic in Opatija: 250 Events Across Six Weeks

By 27 November 2019

November 27, 2019 - The holiday magic returns to Opatija this winter, whose streets, squares and parks will be decorated for one of Croatia’s best Advent celebrations on the coast.

Novi List reports that the Advent Program will give citizens and visitors six weeks full of vibrant and engaging events at three major locations - in front of the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, on the Summer Stage and in front of the City Market - but also in Sv. Jakov Park, on Slatina, in the Gervais Center, numerous city hotel and catering facilities, as well as the mountain lodge Poklon, the organizers from the Opatija Tourist Board announced.

Advent in Opatija will open on Friday, November 29, with lighting Christmas decorations and lamps on a giant Christmas tree in front of the town market, while all Christmas decorations throughout the city will be illuminated simultaneously. For the first time, the fairy-tale holiday atmosphere will extend to the entire area of Sv. Jakov Park, which will shine with over three kilometers of lights, a thousand decorative balls and decorations, and numerous freestanding light decorations.

The Christmas lighting will also be accompanied by an entertainment program from 5 pm, with a performance by Klapa Kastav, the choir of the Opatija Kindergarten, and DJ Alex Sabattini. On the same day, around 4 pm - the little ones are invited to socialize in the Nutcracker House, which will be located in the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion during the holidays. Elves and nutcrackers will greet children and offer various workshops and performances, which they will be able to enjoy daily: until December 20, weekdays, from 4 pm to 7 pm, and onwards from 12 to 7 pm, while on weekends it’ll be open from 10 am to 7 pm.

Not only the children will be entertained at Šporer, but anyone into great music, hearty winter delicacies and a festive atmosphere can enjoy the Christmas Fair, open on weekdays from 12 pm to 11 pm and on weekends from 10 am to 11 pm.

The music program will kick off with the Xfinity band, which will open the festivities at 8 pm on Friday, November 29th. Until January 2, a number of DJs and well-known musicians will perform, including experienced Whiteheads, Kantridersi, Dellboys, Iman Trio Acoustic, The Janitors, Techno Vikings, Dražen Turina Šajeta, The Bourbon Hunters, Jed Becker’s Group, Vedran Ružić Trio, and Martina Majerle, but also the best Croatian chanson Marko Tolja and many others.

Every Saturday from November 30, one Advent candle will be lit in the park on Slatina, near the most famous Opatija fountain. On the first evening, starting at 7 pm, Martina Majerle and KUD "Učka" Matulji will perform.

The Summer Stage will again become a winter stage this year thanks to an ice rink, which will be open daily until January 12, from Monday to Thursday from 1 pm to 9 pm, Friday from 1 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 10 pm and Sundays 10 am to 9 pm.

Medo Skating Club from Zagreb has prepared an attractive program for the opening ceremony scheduled for Sunday, December 1 , at 5 pm. In addition to the ice rink, there will Christmas cottages and music programs every day from 7 pm, and a skating school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3 pm to 5 pm.

The Gervais Center will host the Chocolate Festival from December 6-8, as well as numerous other events such as the presentation of the Feel & Taste tourist offer at the Indigenous Products Fair, stand-up performances by Ivan Saric and a festive Christmas and New Year concert with Renata Sabljak, Gianni Stipanic and the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Gervais Club, located on the lowest floor of the cultural center, fans of electronic music will enjoy a pre-Christmas party, and fans of martial arts can attend the Opatija Fight Night 11.

Following the Christmas lighting on November 29, the City Market will be the venue for New Year's Eve events and Christmas fairs, and at the turn of the Old and New Year, the 'Opatija Tribute to the Legends' program will hit the stage with the Queen Real Tribute, Abba Real Tribute and special guests.

However, this will bejust one of four New Year’s events in Opatija. Namely, Šporer will welcome the new year with the Groovers, the children on the Summer Stage will celebrate at noon, while the rock'n'roll Dellboys will take the Summer Stage at night.

In addition to New Year's Eve, Advent at the Market will offer several other exciting programs, including the illusionist show by Andrei Skedel, the Alen Vitasović concert and the "Crazy Christmas Eve in Opatija", which will fill the day with music and gastronomy before the space in front of the market turns into a big disco at night.

“The road will even be closed for traffic, so music and dance will prevail in the center of the city,” said the organizers.

In addition to the central locations in Opatija, the holiday program will also take place in other parts of the city, and about 250 different programs will be held from November 29 to January 12.

Santa Claus will once again return to his winter residence on Poklon, where a Christmas fairy tale will be held from December 13 to December 15 in the Učka Nature Park. Famous trainer Mario Mlinarić will lead everyone interested on a Christmas walk from Opatija to Veprinac on December 14.

In addition to socializing, music and gastronomic specialties, holiday time is also associated with gift-giving, and Opatija will give the gift of free parking to its citizens and guests. 

From December 1 to February 29, private cars will not be charged on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, except in zones 0a and 0b located in the area from the Palace to the Admiral Hotel, including parking behind the bus station near the Admiral Hotel and Joakim Rakovac Street.

You can learn more about Advent in Opatija here.

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