This weekend the 19th Great Dragon Parade (Wielka Parada Smoków) and accompanying events take place in Kraków.
The main attractions of the Great Dragon Parade are a waterborne ‘parade’ on Saturday evening along the Wisła River with dragons floating above boats and barges, accompanied by pyrotechnics, laser and light shows, then, on Sunday, a parade along Grodzka to the Rynek.
This year the inspiration for the dragon characters taking part in the Parade will be the classic Jules Verne novel “Around the World in Eighty Days “.
As well as the parades, a Dragons Family Picnic will take place from 10am on Saturday and Sunday by the Dragons Den, on the Wisła embankment below Wawel.
The parade is organised and the dragons are ‘animated’ by ‘Teatr Groteska’, Kraków, with the professional dragons joined on Sunday for the street parade by dozens of school kids with home made dragons from all over Poland.
The main events are:-
Dragon Family Picnic
Vistula Boulevards at the Dragon’s Den
1st June 2019 (Saturday), 10am-9:30pm
2nd June 2019 (Sunday), 10am-7pm
The great outdoor show – “light & sound” on the Vistula (Wisła) combines pyrotechnic effects, music, light and water curtains. During the show large, flying dragons will be presented (up to 25m in length and 15m in height), amazing creatures ‘flying’ from boats are animated by the actors of the Groteska Theatre. This year, dragon designs have been inspired by tradition and culture from around the world.
Entry is free, though tickets (80zł) can be bought for the VIP section. Click on link in title for details.
STREET PARADE ‘Parade of Dragons’
2nd June 2019 (Sunday), 12.15-3pm
Route: Planty (from Gertrudy street) – ul. Grodzka – Main Market Square
Over 1,000 children from all over the country take part in the Great Dragon Parade. The kids and their helpers ‘animate’ their own home made dragons.. All dragons compete for the title of the most beautiful and ingenious dragon. The colourful parade with music and dragon roars – is accompanied by dancers, orchestras, as well as stilt-walkers and jugglers. For a few hours, everyone becomes the actors of a huge, open-air spectacle, which is watched by thousands of Krakow residents and tourists who come especially for this occasion.
Here are some images we took at a previous river parade.
Arrive early, grab a seat on the wall along the Wisła, or find a spot on the grassy embankment and throw down a picnic rug, then expect to be surrounded by an ever growing crowd as the time of the parade grows closer. If coming by car, park well away from the Wisła/Wawel area to avoid the post parade congestion. If you are lucky or have planned ahead, then booking a table on one of the barges or rooftop bars/restaurants overlooking the river will guarantee the best view.
Enjoy, Kraków dragons, are friendly dragons!
David fell in love with Kraków 24 years ago, making it his home in 2011.
In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków, and is also a member of the GlobalScot network, representing Scottish culture and business abroad.
We’re always looking for interesting stories, events, characters or groups to feature. Likewise, if you’d like to join us, as a contributor, please get in touch.