The first day of Advent came to Osijek on Friday 1st with many people coming to take part. After three years absents in Downtown Osijek the event came back. For some, they thought that Advent would lose its nostalgia and antiquity due to it not being at Tvrđa this year.
This will be the first year in history that Osijek has a real ice skating rink in Ante Starčević square. Located around the fountain the city had been working very hard to make it a reality for Osijek. City worker did it in stages of first creating a temporary base that would make it a level surface adding a mixture of sand. The next step was adding the plastic tubing for the system to keep the ice frozen as temperatures hovered above 0 Celsius. With Friday being the opening day the ice rink was set to go accompanied by Ice rental hut on the side.
The city of Osijek brought in Christmas trees to the urban environment to bring a little Christmas charm. However Osijek did a unique theme once again with Coca-Cola bottles stacked in cone shape giving it the appearance of 4ft Christmas tree. As night fell the decorative ornaments were lite up given it ambiance and nostalgia of Christmas past.
The kick off for advent would not be the same without a well-known band called “Big Banda Požega.” They played a bit of everything from Christmas classics to Croatian songs with the backdrop of Osijek Gothic Cathedral. The talented group of musicians and singing artist pleased last night’s crowds singing in Croatian and English.
The food on the main strip could be smelled miles away with some of the well-known favourites of the region to name every vendor on site would take another article to write about. There was something for everyone in the many different styles of food.
With so much food to choose from as advent was in full swing, it does get some visitors thirsty. There was plenty of good spirits in the air with an assortment of wine to choose from at the Essker Shopping Center of Osijek. WineOS festival was a two-day event (Dec 1st, Dec 2nd) bringing in a good number of leading wine producers from all over Osijek and neighbouring countries came to Osijek. They had their best wine and leading experts to showcase pairing with amazing gastronomy. It was a chance to explore Croatia wines and learn about the many different styles and experience of tasting.
There was something for the little kids as the city brought in an old-fashioned carousel, swing ride, and a mini Ferris wheel. The glimmering of lights from the rides was incredible to see even for adults, it brought out the fun for everyone. The Christmas tram made its stop right beside Osijek’s oldest tram on display. The tram is almost a permeant fixture advent in Osijek.
It all finishes up the on New Year’s Eve with a big bash and concert ringing in the New Year beside Osijek’s Gothic Cathedral. The many sights, sounds, and great food brings out the best in the spirit of Christmas. Osijek’s Advent is the ideal place to spend time amongst family and friends enjoying the fun.