Riga will host EUROPEADE from July 21 – 25, 2004.

EUROPEADE- is one of the biggest international folk culture festivals that takes place every year in one of the European countries. In accordance with the agreement concluded by The International Europeade Committee and the City of Riga The EUROPEADE 2004 will take place from 21 July – 25 July in Riga. It will be the first biggest and most significant cultural event since the state of Latvia will have joined the European Union, thus becoming a landmark in the history of creating a common cultural environment. It will be a European –scale international culture event which will include concerts featuring folk music, song and dance, exhibition, forum, parade of the participants representing diverse cultures and traditions. More than 4000 participants from 38 European countries and regions will gather in Riga for one of the largest European folk culture forums.

The roots of the EUROPEADE trace back as far as 1963 when rnthusiasts of folk cultuire from Italy, Germany, Spain and France came together to establish the first International EUROPEADE Committee. At present there are 38 members in the IEC, representing different European countries and regions, The President of IEC is Bruno Peeters. The first EUROPEADE took place in Antwerp- Belgium in 1964 and since then it has constantly developed. The hosts of the EUROPEADE have been the cities of Europe. Riga, which recently celebrated its 800th anniversary, this year will become the city of inspiration and friendship for other nations. The purpose of EUROPEADE is to bring together the folk cultures of Europe and build up a common cultural space , characterised both by a shared European heritage and cultural and artistic diversity and to continue to develop an established long-term structure for cultural dialogue among people of Europe.

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