Velenje in winter, Source:

Velenje finds Covid-safe way to celebrate New Year without breaching ban on outdoor parties

Velenje finds Covid-safe way to celebrate New Year without breaching ban on outdoor parties

The Slovenian town will treat its residents to serenades, a cultural programme, surprise gifts and dwarf-seeking adventure

Due to the sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases, outdoor New Year's Eve celebrations in Slovenia have been cancelled. Velenje is no exception, but the city in the north of the country has found ingenious ways to work around the pandemic restrictions without compromising safety.

Magic December

As reported by the municipal website, the traditional New Year's Eve celebration on Tito Square will be symbolically replaced by New Year's Eve windows. Organizers of the Velenje Festival, in cooperation with the Spin Dance School and musicians, have prepared a short programme that will take place between 4 pm and 7 pm at five city locations. Citizens will be able to listen to trumpet and percussion ensembles from the safe shelter of their homes and watch the New Year's Dance of Snowflakes. 

Fairytale characters will distribute gifts from the mayor of the Municipality of Velenje to random passers-by, and in the meantime, Santa Claus will say goodbye to all from his sled on the city streets. 

In the evening at 8 pm, in the big hall of the Velenje Cultural Centre, the Velenje Theatre will give its New Year's Eve performance of Butalci (drama act with carnival characters from Slovenian folklore).

The city’s rich cultural programme dubbed Magic December includes theatre performances, film screenings and an intriguing exhibition by Jane Zornik at the Velenje Gallery entitled "A Human Experience: Functional Fantasy".

Spatial surprises

The Velenje Festival has also enriched the festive city decoration with four spatial interventions. A festive grove has been set up on the platform in front of the Velenje Cultural Centre, and a beautiful White Land stretches out on the meadow next to the Centre, glowing in all its beauty in the evening. 

Dwarf seekers invite all children to find the little creatures on a special path winding through the city. Along the most popular promenades, special New Year's spruces are placed, displaying a QR code, which unlocks a musical journey.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU