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  • Barbara Zizic

A Pedacito Of An International Children's Festival, Sibenik, Croatia

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

For over 60 years, the International children's festival has been an epicenter of cultural manifestations in Šibenik. Every June, tourists, poets, artists, and children all over the globe join this three-week cultural manifestation.

With Open-air blockbuster movies, music and poetry workshops for children, open-air theatre, and so much more, it placed Šibenik on the cultural map of must-visit cultural events.

Outside of St. Jacob's Cathedral, Sibenik, Croatia
Outside of St. Jacob's Cathedral, Sibenik, Croatia

St. Jacob Cathedral -Šibenik, Croatia

As a holder of the UNESCO certificate of cultural heritage, St. Jacob Cathedral became an epicenter of cultural manifestations during the International children's festival. Make no mistake, it is not only for children, but adults can also enjoy it. Including this adult. What I enjoy the most about it are the stand-up shows I go to regularly.

So that warm early summer evening, in early July 2020 I had decided to go to a stand-up show. It was free, and I enjoyed stand-up so much I couldn't resist not going. Despite the pandemic, at that time, things were not that bad in my country and life was still going. As soon as I came, I saw crowds fighting to find a seat.

I found mine easily. I saw some friends of mine and decided to join them. We had the time of our lives. I still remember some jokes from that night and we kept on repeating them, and some became a part of our everyday life. We had so much fun we decided to stay at the festival and enjoy some other activities the festival was offering.

Coastline -Šibenik, Croatia

A cat, taking in the pleasant night air of Sibenik, Croatia
A cat, taking in the pleasant night air of Sibenik, Croatia

After we had a good laugh, we decided to take a walk along the coastline to see what else the festival had to offer. The evening was very warm for early summer, and the city was full of tourists all over the world. I enjoyed the atmosphere so much and, for a moment, I got the feeling of old normal again.

As we walked, I saw a lot of toys, lasers, food, drinks, and people having a good time. I took a cold drink, and we decided to sit on the bench, enjoy the music coming from the local cafe and just enjoy the atmosphere. Enjoying the sea breeze and boats passing on the sea was the medicine I needed. It was just what the doctor prescribed and I loved it.

Main Square -Šibenik.Croatia

There were plenty of people in Sebinek's main square during the festival
There were plenty of people in Sebinek's main square during the festival

After relaxing, I was ready to continue the mini-adventure for the night. We decided to take a walk to the main city square to watch a clown show. It was mainly for children but hey, we are someone's children right? So, being children at heart, who are not afraid of clowns, we decided to go and check the show.

When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by how many people were there and glad we were not the only people who came without kids. Makes it less awkward if you ask me. Before the show started, we decided to get some popcorn from the stand nearby and come back just before the show started.

Needless to say, I was actively involved with the show, and I had no regrets. I was laughing, supporting the artist, and giving some money after the show because, in general, most of the artists involved are street artists from all over the world, and they work for donations. Street artists at the festival are my favorite tradition.

Gorica -Šibenik, Croatia

A little Covid-related humour on one of the cathedral's busts
A little Covid-related humour on one of the cathedral's busts

The last stop of my international children's festival adventure was the Gorica area where the open-air movie nights are an old tradition I held from when I was 12 years old. I remember watching the Pocahontas movie with a boy from school I liked.

He liked me back, I guess, because he bought popcorn. This time, I wasn't with a boy I liked, just popcorn and the Fast and Furious movie.

The movie was full of action and Vin Diesel without a shirt so you can say that the night was a success. I laughed, I saw friends I Hadn't seen for a long time and ate foods from different parts of the world. I am planning on doing the same thing every year, from now on. This festival marked my childhood and made it very special.

The International Children's festival is a cultural manifestation in Šibenik. Every June, artists from all over the world come to Šibenik to showcase their art and their cultural heritage. Every child in Šibenik was once part of the festival through workshops including acting, journalism, music and so much more. Šibenik holds the official title of, "The City of Children", thanks to the festival.

It is not only a children's festival, it is the unity of cultures, religions, and races that shows love has no limits. It is a festival of unity, and, most importantly, it celebrates the child in all of us and the values we had as children. If you are planning your next trip in late June or early July, make sure to mark down the International Children's Festival in your travel plans.

A Don Quixote inspired art installation, located in Sibenik
A Don Quixote inspired art installation, located in Sibenik

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