Tartu's Car-Free Avenue returns again this summer
Tartu's Car-Free Avenue will return for a fourth time this summer alongside a diverse cultural program.
Similar to other years, part of Vabaduse Puiestee will be closed to cars from the Market Building to Kaarsild Bridge. This year's event runs from June 29-August 6.
Events will be held on the street throughout the summer from Thursdays to Sundays, starting with a gala concert celebrating Tartu City Day and ending with the Tartu Food and Wine Festival.
The swimming pool, the biggest hit with toddlers from the first two years, will return in 2023. In addition, a carousel, climbers, sprinklers and other attractions will come to the site. Street furniture from previous years will also be reused. A stage will be built on the hillside of the park on the city center side and will remain there for the year of the Capital of Culture.
Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) said Car-Free Avenue has become an anticipated annual summer event that enlivens the city center and brings visitors here from further afield.
"This year's Car-Free Avenue will serve as a dress rehearsal for next year when we will be wearing the title of European Capital of Culture, while also enlivening the city center in midsummer. The attractive and crowded downtown area also offers our catering and accommodation establishments more opportunities to host visitors," the mayor said.
On Thursdays, concerts curated by the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 will take place, Friday events are inspired by the Year of Mobility, and family events will be held on Saturdays.
Sten Svetlyakov, head of the Department of Culture, said organizers have learned what the audience wants from previous years.
"The program is tightly packed and full of different events so that all residents and guests of Tartu will be able to enjoy a different kind of urban space and a diverse program. We have also intentionally left room for spontaneous fun," he said.
Car-Free Avenue is organized by the City of Tartu, the Tartu 2024 Foundation, the Tiigi Society House, Tartu Turg, Tartu Youth Work Centre, and many other good partners.
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Editor: Helen Wright