As some of you remember, this year I wrote an article about Oleander street. It is one of the most interesting and, at the same time, the nicest places in Warsaw – all thanks to people who decided to try their hand at business and opened pubs and shops here.
Oleander Street owes its climate to the wonderful aura, that can be felt in all of the premises – everyone is welcomed here, you don’t feel the competition, which is easily seen on other streets. What count here, is a good relationship and mutual promotion of this more and more visited street.
An initiative to do something for people, grow out of this amazing atmosphere. Local entrepreneurs have decided to pay homage to the street, as well as the surrounding community, by organizing intimate festival, which, in my opinion, surpassed their expectations.
OleanderFest took place on Saturday, October 10. The event lasted from 11 o’clock, until late night hours. Throughout the day, regulars and random people wandered through the street. But all we connected by one thing – bright smile on their faces. Old and young had fun. All stands and premises attracted a lot of people. During the day, stalls with crafts, second-hand clothes, or art workshops for children were the most popular. On this sunny day, you could see many families with their children, who decided to see something new in this part of Warsaw.
In the afternoon, the time for guided tours around the surrounding area and live entertainment came. Tour of the district (the guide was Grzegorz Mika, who deals with Warsaw’s modernism) was a very interesting experience.
Senior Choir concert from the Śródmieście Community Centre was a big surprise for me. It was very pleasant to see so many elderly people joined by a common passion. Their vocal performances were at a very high level.
Apart from this, there we also some interesting-sounding bands, but for me, the highlight of the evening was a performance by Olivier Heim. As usual, he played amazingly, and his calm songs attracted a large number of listeners (I have to admit that it was cold at night).
I am glad, that we are slowly giving up on stereotypical thinking about districts, and communities are forming in smaller structures. It is very important, because it gives us a chance to develop culturally diverse Warsaw. Everyone should care about community, because it is the only possible way to provide ourselves with a great dose of experience on such a beautiful day. Additionally, seeing (I know, because I’ve done approx. 300 shots of laughing people) so many happy faces in one day, is a true rarity in Warsaw. I hope that the capital city, seeing those smiling faces in the pictures and reading the reviews of this extremely successful event, will give the green light to this initiative, and OleanderFest will settle permanently in the city’s cultural calendar.
Here, I present a time-lapse movie, prepared by Oscar.
translation: Agnieszka Wawiórko