A seemingly endless line of cars heads to the center of Jihlava on Saturday before five o’clock in the afternoon, and the Citypark parking lot is bursting at the seams, some drivers even have to wait a while because the machine refuses to issue a ticket when the capacity is full. Most of those arriving have the same goal – the St. Martin’s parade in the city center.
The St. Martin’s parade dominated the center of Jihlava on Saturday
| Video: Diary/Martin Singr
Already on the way to the square, it is obvious that it will be this year as well St. Martin’s arrival is a big event. There are thousands of people there, even though the temperature is just above freezing and it rains every now and then. And more crowds are coming, even the narrow sidewalk on the right side of Znojemská Street is not enough for them, a few of them walk along the road. “I haven’t seen so many people in Jihlava for a long time, the last time was exactly a year ago,” comments Miroslava Kubešová, while walking in the crowd on the square. The accompanying program is already in full swing there, people are strolling between the stands and enjoying the atmosphere.
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By this time, it is already five o’clock in the evening, he sets out from Kino Dukla a large procession including little angels, musicians, giant statues, a group of geese in life size, musicians and a number of other characters. Everyone goes not only to the sounds of music, but also to the lights from the fairways. Their heat can be felt and pleasantly warms the onlookers. At the end, Saint Martin rides a white horse and throws handfuls of chocolate gold coins into the onlookers.
Several groups of young people take the event in a very peculiar way – they make their way through the onlookers, if possible, they run around and their goal is only one – to be close to St. Martin and collect as many gold coins as possible. “How many do you have? I have thirteen so far,” one of them brags to his friends at the moment when St. Martin turns from Matky Boží street to Palacký. Not only children, but also adults are also gifted with chocolate coins by Jihlava councilors led by Mayor Petr Ryška. He doesn’t spare a smile, he obviously likes the event too.
The fireworks were spectacular
At the end, the head of the city greets the spectators from the podium and thanks them for their generosity, for St. Martin’s rolls sold during the event, it was possible to collect one hundred thousand crowns for the Jihlava charity. St. Martin will also address the crowds and as soon as his horse gets to safety, people will start counting down. In the last seconds, the light also dims, and then the fireworks, which last for several minutes, begin.
For example, František Vozobule also follows him. “We arrived except for the fireworks, we really liked that one. It was spectacular, if a bit short. I think it used to be stronger,” says the likeable young man shortly after the event. He also wanted to see St. Martin, which he didn’t manage to do because he left for the city late. But it does not spoil his mood, he evaluates the event as a whole positively.
Source: Diary/Martin Singr
After the spectacle in the sky ended, enough people stayed in the square for the next program. But the majority slowly began to disperse – a significant part was taken away by the strengthened public transport connections, literally crowds then flowed into Citypark. Some headed to fast food, others to other shops, and a long line soon formed in the ladies’ toilets. However, the cars left gradually and there was no longer any danger of another traffic collapse.