Hospitable warmth of Braslav Lightning

International holiday of traditional culture gathers guests from eight countries in Braslav

By Yelena Bogomazova

Those coming to the festival danced, sang and... concluded investment agreements. It’s no surprise: this year, the Vitebsk Region is realising an extended programme of local districts hosting investment forums. “Over the past two years, we’ve held investment and innovative forums in our regional centre,” notes the Deputy Chairman of the Regional Executive Committee, Oleg Matskevich. “The prudency of such events is clear from the realisation of several dozen agreements, which will no doubt benefit the economy of the region. Taking into consideration investors’ wishes, we are focusing on promoting the region’s attractiveness directly by districts. Meanwhile, cultural forums hosted by the Vitebsk Region are a wonderful opportunity for others to gain acquaintance with us and agree co-operation, weighing all the pros and cons.”

The recent Braslav Lightning was rich in pleasant surprises. A dozen existing co-operative agreements were supplemented by another: the Podlaskie Voivodships’ Hajnowka is keen to establish long term, multi-faceted ties with the Braslav District. Moreover, two economic entities have officially signed protocols of intentions with the District Executive Committee, planning interesting projects within the district. Already, Latvian JSC Madara is building an apartment building in Braslav (on sub-contractor terms). Meanwhile, in a few months’ time, it is to launch a mini plant producing concrete — badly needed in the district. In turn, Lithuanian Eva Tour is to construct a road-side hotel with a cafe, purchasing a neglected building from a local agricultural enterprise for the future site.

In a word, there were many reasons for joy at the 44th Braslav Lightning Festival. This year, traditional participants from Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland were joined by Venezuelans, with their show given in bright costumes and unusual masks, attracting attention even before the curtain lifted.

As usual, the festival featured various staged shows, crowned by a holiday of medieval culture on Zamkovaya Hill: a parade of knights, a symbolic handing over of a blazing torch and a tournament. On the banks of Lake Drivyaty, thousands enjoyed the Water and Fire show, featuring amusements, pedalos, a dance programme and festive fireworks. The event concluded with a gala concert at Lesnichevka Park.

The Braslav District has bid farewell to friends old and new until next summer, when we will gather once more in the open air, amidst pines.

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