The Port Festival promises surprises and fun on the ground as well as in the water

Already from 18 to 20 August the magnificent and diverse activities of Riga City Festival 2017 will fill the capital, promising Riga inhabitants and city guests an exciting three-day program. This year, many surprise, attractive and family-friendly activities, as well as opportunities to receive valuable prizes, are also promised at the Port Festival, to which everyone is kindly invited by the Freeport of Riga Authority.

Exciting sport activities in the capital's waters – the Riga Canal and the Daugava River, have already become a traditional and integral part of the Riga City festival. This year these will take place during the Port Festival from the 18th to 20th of August. The Freeport of Riga Authority invites festival visitors to get to know the life of seafarers, the history of the shipping industry and to experience the daily routine of Riga Port.

The beautiful “Canal Regatta” at Bastejkalns, the “Street Music Day” in Old Riga, the “Baltic Sail” sailboat parade in Kipsala and the “Coastal Match” at the Riga Congress Hall have now become traditional events. This year, as a novelty, there will be a multimedia lighthouse on the embankment near the Akmens Bridge, where the video installation will bring viewers into the lively life of the port. With the help of modern technology, everyone will have the opportunity to travel virtually to the port of Riga and try his/her hand in cargo loading – to choose the most suitable cargo, to load it on the ship and afterwards enter the open waters through the gate to the sea.

Like elsewhere around the festival activity venues, visitors to the lighthouse will also be entertained by the talisman of the Port Festival – the Seal Mariner and his crew, who will entertain visitors on one of the three Seal Islands. On the islands, everyone will be able to join the activities in the drawing studio, to take a photo with a seal and to get mariners-worthy tattoos. And, in cooperation with TALLINK a special surprise – Seal Island tasks will be given for the most active visitors. “On each of the Seal islands special cards will be available in which festival visitors will be invited to collect tokens from different festival venues. The cards will then take part in a lottery, in which five families or groups of four friends will win a TALLINK cruise to Stockholm with the cruise ship “Romantika” or “Isabelle”. On Sunday 11:30, the Seal Mariner will announce the happy winners live on-air together with Radio SWH's creative team, says Liene Ozola, representative of the Freeport of Riga Authority. She adds that visitors who complete the Sail Islands’ tasks will receive other awards as well.

This year's Port Festival will also be enriched by the “Baltic Sail Riga 2017” festival of historic sailboats. The international historic sailboat festival of the Baltic Sea has so far taken place in such port towns as Klaipeda, Gdansk, Karlskrona, Szczecin, Niesteda and Rostock. However, this year from August 18 to 20, several historic sailboats will be available for free viewing in the Kipsala, City Yacht Club. On Saturday, August 19 at 17.30 in the aquatorium of the City Yacht Club, the historic sailboats will play a ship battle, followed by a spectacular sailboat parade in the waters of the Daugava River. For interested visitors the sailboats will also be available for an hour long journey along the Daugava.

On Saturday, August 19 the traditional carnivalesque competition of water bikes “Canal Regatta” will take place. This will already be the seventeenth Canal Regatta and its members will, as usual, consist of 30 teams from popular companies, organizations and media of Latvia that will in a friendly manner compete for the titles “The Fastest Canal Racer 2017”, “The Most Elegant Crew 2017” and “The Sad Water Miller 2017”. This year the event will take place at the foot of Bastejkalns, where there will be a stage with a RIGATV 24 live screen, the start and finish areas, participants’ and spectators’ recreation areas, artists' market, children's creative workshop and other activities. The competition will take place in the Riga Canal, from Bastejkalns to the Latvian National Opera and Ballet House.

On August 19 from 12:00,  “Street Music Days” events will start taking place as well, which will fill the Old Town at the Swedish Gate (Zviedru Varti), Smilsu Street (Smilšu iela), Valnu Street (Vaļņu iela), Kalku Street (Kaļķu iela), Ridzene Street (Ridzenes iela), Audeju Street (Audēju iela), Skarnu Street (Skārņu iela)  and Bastejkalns with the rhythms of the varied music and fun attractions.

On August 19, at 13:00 on the square at the Riga Congress Hall, the impressive twenty-four-hour “Coast Match” basketball tournament (Krastu mačs) will begin, a Guinness World record-worthy basketball game. In the tournament the teams from the right and left bank of the Daugava compete against each other. This year the tournament will take place for the eighth year in a row and the result after 7 years is 4:3 in favour of the left bank. This year the Coast match will also be opened by a three-point and a slam dunk contest, while a special stage in the central square will have twenty-four-hour performances of the capital's best DJs, and on Saturday evening well-known Latvian musicians will delight visitors.

The talisman of the Port Festival, the Seal Mariner, who will arrive in the Riga Canal already today, will be found at all of these activities as well. More information on other events and venues of the Riga City Festival can be found on the websites and In addition, Radio SWH will be a non-stop tour guide during the festival, which through interviews and live streams will update with the latest news.