Since 1991 the continuation of the tradition of crafts and guilds has been ensured by the European craft festival. The craft festival is at present a popular international cultural and social event. Every second week in July, the town of Kežmarok is for three days transformed into a craft market. Before the market is officially opened, a traditional parade through Kežmarok´s High street with demonstration of historical costumes takes place. As in the old times, the ceremonial opening of the market is performed by the market mayor and the citizens. The town walls and the gate built on the Main street for this purpose are then fought for, by swordsmen. The gate is also the main entrance to the market area. More than seventy traditional stands for craftsmen, Kežmarok castle, the castle courtyard and the town houses with their traditional architecture are built on the castle and the main streets to create a unique environment and atmosphere. More than 180 craftsmen and artists from Slovakia and from abroad present before the market´s visitors, up to fifty types of crafts. In their hands, interesting products from wood, wattles, straw, dried corn leaves, leather, clay, metal, glass and other materials are produced. The visitors can also buy them on the spot. The young participants make the festival even more interesting and they are the guarantee for the continuation of the EĽRO festival. A plentiful programme performed at the local amphitheatre, on the stages in front of the castle and in front of the Town Hall is prepared for those who like entertainment, fun and folklore. Artists and folk groups from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, France, Italy and Spain participate in the programme and actors present the traditions of guilds which worked in Kežmarok in the past. For children, the organizers prepare an interesting programme, puppet theatre, pony riding and many other attractions. The children`s town built by the scouts from Kežmarok is very popular, where parents often leave their children so they can enjoy the wide variety of crafts and the atmosphere of old times in peace and quiet. A part of the event is the cheese market located in the castle courtyard. Thanks to its good preparation, the attendance of the market in Kežmarok is increasing from year to year. We are pleased that the good reputation of Kežmarok is spreading far beyond Slovakia`s borders.
For more information visit elro.kezmarok.sk