Somehow, for years now, the Drina Regatta has eluded me in my plans. Also this time, my obligations dragged me to the other side, but I still managed to come on the day of the big descent and it was definitely worth all my effort and the challenge I had to come. I am happy that I was this time at the most massive Drina Regatta so far, which attracted over 2,000 vessels with around 20,000 participants on the water itself!
Definitely a unique event, and photographically truly spectacular.
What I know for sure is that I will already put the “Drina Regatta” on my calendar for next year!
ABOUT DRINA REGATTA
The Drina Regatta is the oldest and most massive event on the Drina River, which has been organised in Bajina Basta for a quarter of a century. The first Drina regatta was held in July 1994, and since then, this event has been held every third week in July. It is held in memory of the ancient Drina rafters and represents a combination of tradition and modern tourist trends. This unique carnival on the water, along with a large number of other diverse contents, is one of the biggest tourist events in Serbia and the biggest event on the water in this part of Europe. The Drina Regatta, in addition to the large descent down the Drina River, also includes numerous accompanying events that attract over 100,000 visitors to Bajina Basta every year in July.
In 2016, the Drina regatta was awarded with two of the most significant awards in tourism in Serbia, so it was officially crowned as the best Serbian tourist event. On the World Tourism Day, the Drina Regatta was awarded “Tourist Flower 2016” for the best tourist event in Serbia by the Tourist Organisation of Serbia and the “Best from Serbia 2016” award by the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications for the best tourist event in operation promotion of Serbia. This award is particularly significant because the evaluation criteria included objective parameters such as the number of visitors, tradition and good organisation, as well as the evaluations of the eminent expert jury and, what is especially important, the votes of the event’s visitors.
Since the anniversary of the 20th Drina Regatta, it has been established that the program of the manifestation lasts for five days, from Wednesday to Sunday, and the big descent down the Drina is traditionally always on Saturday. A fair of honey, brandy, souvenirs and homemade crafts is held in the centre of Bajina Bašta for all days of the event. On the first days of the event, concerts are held in the city centre featuring performers of folk or pop music. On Thursdays in Perućac, there is a traditional competition for preparing fish soup, which in a beautiful setting by the river Vrelo gathers a large number of visitors who mingle with music and drinks and prepare fish soup. On Fridays, jumps from the bridge into the Drina river are held, where the bravest jumpers from all over the Balkans compete in front of thousands of visitors.