Cities across Georgia are marking Independence Day with events and exhibitions for residents and visitors today, with the main programme hosted in capital Tbilisi throughout the day.
The annual celebrations are marked after May 26, 1918 – the day the Act of Independence established the First Democratic Republic of the country.
Set to run under the motto “This Day is Ours”, the 2023 programme will involve a choir of 300 children performing the national anthem on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square at 5:10pm, the exact time the independence was proclaimed back in 1918.
The programme will be opened with the customary oath-taking by new recruits of the Georgian Defence Forces in 10 cities including the capital.
Strips in the colours of the Georgian national flag have been hung along the road on Rustaveli Avenue, which is divided into spaces for cognitive, entertainment, sports and children's events and activities:
Wine space - this space will offer visitors a sommelier master class, tasting of different types of wine, and introduction to characteristics of specific types of wine.
Children’s space - here young visitors of the celebrations will enjoy a candy area, giant xylophone and swing, fairytale characters, all while hosted by animators.
Food zone - those on the Avenue will find beer bar and juice bars, themed entertainment activities and installations here.
Sports zone - in this space, visitors can join competitions, enjoy a skate park and other activities.
Music and theatre space - radio cafés are set up in this section to host live broadcasting with “various programmes and guests”. A literature café will offer a stage to young authors, poets and artists.
100 Years of Georgian Aviation - this space will host an interactive installation designed after The Flying Painter, an iconic artwork by Petre Otskheli, one of Georgia's most notable avant-garde artists and a pioneering theatre designer. It will also offer visitors an exhibition of aviation-themed costumes and an aircraft those flocking to the section can enter and take photographs.
Fifteen other cities have official events planned for the date, with ministries and state agencies showcasing their work at stands.
The Independence Day programme will be crowned with a gala concert on the First Republic Square in Tbilisi at 8pm.