If you are in Bansko and you are looking for a place where you can experience the true spirit and identity of the town, you should definitely spend time at the Community center of the town.
Even before you think that a community center, except with a rich library fund, can not surprise you, we invite you to come with us for a short walk through the past and present of the Nikola Vaptsarov Community Center – Bansko!
The Community center in Bansko has a very long history, which began in 1894. Its founders named it “Village Holiday”, and it had this name for many years before being renamed to “Nikola Vaptsarov“. Initially, (which is the main function of each Community center), the Community center in Bansko was intended to raise as much library stock as possible so that the people in Bansko could become acquainted with the Bulgarian and world classics. Shortly after the fund was raised, however, it turned out that the people in Bansko, as alert and thirsty for knowledge and cultural manifestations, besides books needed also something else…
Thus, only a few years after the Community center opened its doors, the first amateur theatrical troupe was created to it, which also staged the first theatrical performance in Bansko – “The Long-suffering Genoveva“. The production was so successful that the founders of the community center decided to develop an active cultural activity in order to meet the needs of their fellow citizens of culture and art.
The development of amateur activity in Bansko became more active after the staging of the “Gypsys” operetta on the stage of the Community center in 1922. After the huge success of the operetta, Angel Balev from Bansko decided to create a mixed choir of school singing and guitars – a mandolin orchestra.
Once they touched the arts and culture, people in Bansko wanted more, and over time, amateur groups for folk dances and folk music groups were created at the Community center, and the Community center “Village Holiday” became a cultural center that brought people from all age groups together.
After the end of World War II and the changes in our country, despite some obstacles and the policy of a certain party imposed by the authorities, the Community center not only managed to preserve itself, but also to expand its activity and to influence the cultural development of Bansko.
From 1950 to 1989 the following formations were created at the Community center:
● dance and music bands
● variety composition
● an art word circle
● Bansko male group for two voice singing
● female singing groups
● folk dance groups
After the democratic changes in the country cheerleaders formations, youth and children folklore and dance groups, music formations, etc. were created to the “Nikola Vaptsarov” Community center. For all people from Bansko who wanted to get involved in different activities, different organizations have been organized – various courses, readings, exhibitions and many other educational and cultural events.
Nowadays, the ” Nikola Vaptsarov” Community Center continues to develop an active cultural activity and to preserve the traditions and customs of the Bansko region. The initiatives that are organized or in which the Community center of the town takes part are many and we do not have time to present all the cultural events, but here is what would be interesting for you if you find yourself on a holiday in Bansko during a certain period of the year.
Calendar of the events that are of particular interest to tourists
Traditional Kukeri festival
If you are celebrating New Year in Bansko, you will surely enjoy the traditional Kukeri celebrations, which are held in Bansko on the first day of the new year. We do not have to tell you that if you go out on the streets of the town on January 1st, you will enjoy a unique atmosphere in which Kukeri groups of several Bansko neighborhoods “chase away” the evil spirits and enjoy their authentic scary costumes for residents and guests of the town.
Celebrations in March
In the beginning of March, a martenitsa exhibition is traditionally presented at the “Nikola Vaptsarov” Community Center. Unlike many other cities in the country, in Bansko all martenitsi presented on the exhibition are handmade by the skilled hands of the people in Bansko.
Besides being able to attend the Martenitsa exhibition and bring home authentic, handmade martenitsa, if you are in Bansko in March you can attend the celebrations on the occasion of the National Day of Bulgaria – March 3rd.
As a co – organizer of the celebrations on March 3rd, the community center prepares a rich cultural program every year to please the residents and guests of the town. Usually, concerts, exhibitions, literary events with the introduction of favorite authors are organized on this day, or some famous theatrical production is presented.
The month of March is abundant in terms of holidays, so if you are in town at the beginning of the month you can celebrate March 8th enjoying the cultural events, which are also organized by the Community center.
If you are lucky enough to be in Bansko during the Easter holidays, every year the Community center prepares great cultural events that you can attend. A few days before Easter, community centers gather amateurs to show:
● how to make Easter cake and ritual cakes
● how traditional Easter sweets are baked
● traditional techniques for egg dying specific for different regions and others are presented
Celebration of the day of Bansko
Every year, from October 1st to October 5th, “Nikola Vaptsarov” Community Center together with Bansko Municipality organize exhibitions, music concerts, folklore events to celebrate the Day of Bansko. The program is really very abundant and very interesting and will leave with you an unforgettable memories of the golden autumn in Bansko.
Celebrations of the activity of the Community center in Bansko
The festivities related to the celebration of the Day of Bansko have just finished and a number of cultural events are being launched by the Community center to mark their holiday. From 10th to 15th of October all residents and guests of the town can take part in the festivities, which mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Community center in Bansko. During the week of the Community center there can be seen concerts, literary readings, a rich folklore program, exhibitions of old and contemporary artists, etc., etc.
Celebrations in December
When December comes, Bansko shines in its festive apparel, and the community center together with the town, prepare a surprise for the residents and guests. If you love the winter season in Bansko and if you are a guest of the resort town in this time of the year, you will find a lot of surprises.
This is a time when there are Christmas bazaars in front of the Municipality and the Community center; this is the time when the Community center every day has a new exhibition, literary reading or a concert of one of the many amateur groups in the town.
The “Nikola Vaptsarov” community center is also among the organizers of one of the most remarkable cultural events that take place in Bansko, such as:
● International Jazz Festival
● International Ballet Festival
● Summer Music Holidays
● The Festival of the Arts
● The International Alpine Cinema Festival and more
In the beginning, we told you that we will introduce you to the Bansko Community Center and invited you to take a short walk along the past and present of the “Nikola Vaptsarov” Community Center. We did it because this community center is not just a place to stock books.
This is a place that throughout its existence has not stopped to preserve, protect and spread the traditions and customs of the people in Bansko. This is the place that is in the basis of the development of cultural activities in Bansko and which continues to surprise and fascinate not only the local people but also all the guests of the town.
So … do you plan a vacation in Bansko, “take a look” at the cultural program of the “Nikola Vaptsarov” Community center and do not miss the cultural events that are organized during the period when you are in the town. You will not regret!