The Open Heart Street
BELGRADE: A FULL-HEARTED CITY!
1 January, 2019
At 12 noon!
It has become a tradition for the citizens of Belgrade to celebrate the arrival of the New Year on 1 January in the “Open Heart Street” together with their beloved guests and friends, neighbors and compatriots, in the street which encourages them to help wholeheartedly to the ones who need help the most.
The “Open Heart Street” is one of the festival events which has long crossed the city frontiers and it has become a recognizable brand which brings forth the most altruistic values of our city and its openness.
This unique event originated half a century ago at the “Srpska kafana” restaurant, when famous actors from the Atelje 212 theatre exchanged their roles with the waiters and served the guests on the first day of the New Year. This extraordinary bonding resulted in the Belgrade festivity which brings together culture and commerce, joy, magic and humanism. Since 1988 the “Open Heart Street” has been added to the calendar of the most important cultural events in the City of Belgrade, welcoming over 100 000 people each year.
The “Open Heart Street,” open to all citizens and guests of Belgrade, is conceived as a celebration of humanity, the “opening” of the heart of our city, but also as a possibility to help the ones in need thanks to the kindness of the people taking part in the event.
This year for the first time the “Open Heart Street” is inviting another Serbian town to be its guest of honor – or rather the visiting host, which is given an opportunity to introduce its cultural, commercial, culinary and other unique characteristics to the citizens of Belgrade and other guests of the city.
The representative of the City of Belgrade will present the “Heart of Belgrade” to the representative of the visiting town, marking the festive beginning of this year’s “Open Heart Street.”
Accompanied by song, music, street performers, jugglers, acrobats, illusionists, actors and numerous other attractions, everybody will be invited to join in the charitable cause and to begin the year 2019 in the best possible way: helping those who need help – our children, both in Belgrade and in the visiting town!
This way we are sending symbolically the messages of love and solidarity, wishing that all children who need our support, our hug, understanding and warmth – would live a carefree life.
This year the “Open Heart Street” is dedicated to the project called DOCTORS CLOWNS. These unusual doctors assist the children to endure their stay in the hospital more easily. The project Doctors Clowns was launched in 2003 by the organization “The Bridge of Life,” and it was formally approved and recommended by the Ministry of Health of Serbia. By buying and wearing the clown’s nose all visitors of the “Open Heart Street” join the humanitarian activity which brings hope and joy to the sick children and brings back the smile to the youngest citizens of Serbia. Thus the “Open Heart Street” transforms into the carnival of red noses!
The music and entertainment programme takes place in front of the Atelje 212 theatre, Radio Belgrade, Municipality of Stari Grad and in Skadarlija.
This event is organized by the City of Belgrade, Tourist organization of Belgrade and Municipality of Stari Grad.
LOCATION: Svetogorska Street, part of the Makedonska Street (from Takovska Street to the Dom omladine Beograda) and Skadarlija
STAGES: The small squares in front of Atelje 212, Municipality of Stari Grad, Radio Belgrade, House of Đura Jakišić at Skadarlija…
At noon, following the New Year’s felicitations and presentation of the “Heart of Belgrade,” a small firework symbolically opens this year’s “Open Heart Street.” The performers exit the theater building and begin their traditional promenade, creating a unique carnival procession bursting with music and dance which marks the beginning of the “Open Heart Street” event.
Following this opening, the main programme begins at the square in front of Atelje 212.