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Camellia Festival in Opatija
Text provided by Mira Shalabi / Photo’s by David Kurti
The city of Opatija is the synonym and birthplace of Croatian tourism and the beautiful Camellia flower, which arrived in Opatija in 1845 (‘Rubra Simplex’), also gives a great contribution to it.
The Association of Camellia Lovers has 140 members and has been successfully promoting the City for 13 years by organizing an exhibition of camellias for citizens and tourists, some of whom come precisely because of camellias.
Group of camellia members of Opatija
The planned week of the 13th Camellia Festival Opatija “shrank” and became only the Camellia Exhibition from March 26th to 28th, 2021 due to COVID-19 measures.
Ali the visitors of the beautiful Juraj Šporer pavilion had the opportunity to see a symphony of live flowers, photographs of flowers and bushes, but also artwork by schoolchildren and kindergarteners, along with souvenirs of members of the Association, all on the topic of camellias.
School ehildren before their works ofart
First prize for the best camellia flower and bush.
The opening of the exhibition was an evening to remember. Gabriela Deglin, a singer from the Rijeka Theater, accompanied by pianist Vladimir Babin, performed an aria from the opera La Traviata “Addio del Passato”. Elementary school student Laura Valenčić, accompanied by her father on the piano, performed selected pieces by A. Vivaldi and 0. Rieding. A member of our Association and Society of Writers of Rijeka, Mrs. Ivanka Klovar read a couple of her poems, and student Dorian Rubeša delighted visitors with several merry performances on the accordion.
The closing of the exhibition, as well as the opening, was hosted by Opatija singer-songwriter Dražen Turina. Acknowledgments were distributed to sponsors and individuals and prizes in the form of live camellias to ali winners. As for the results, in the categories of photography of camellia flower and camellia bush, Sofija Šmitran won the first place. In the category of flowers, the second place went to Ingeborg Prasnikar, and the third to Antonija Cvetković. Nikola Turina won second place in the camellia bush category, while third place went to double winner
Sofia Šmitran. In the live flower category, the most beautiful camellia was held by Čedna Hotzi Raffanelli, the second was Marija Benko, while the third place was shared by Mirjana Mendrila and Dolores Milot0.
In the children’s art competition, Ante Fantov won first place in the category of students from Ist to 4th grade of Opatija elementary school, second was Eva Cvek, and third was Aleksandra Ivanova. Paula Škarica had the best work in the category of students from 5th to 8th grade, the second place was won by Isabella Ruža Brko, and the third by Lara Machiedo.
In the presentation of so called “Baljinerada” – small vehicles on iron vvheels, which goes through Opatija main Street. Camellia Society , just for fun, participated dressed like this, and with our symbol of Opatija, the C.j.’Rubra simplex’.
We sincerely hope that the 14th Festival in Opatija, in 2022, will be held without restrictive Covid measures and in full glory, because this magnificent camellia flower and the city of Opatija deserves it!
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