1,008 khachapuri, 357 VR-tours of Georgia, 176 kilometers of gyroscope rides, and more than 20 hours of Georgian music and dance filled the agenda for Kyivites as the city’s magnificent Hryshko National Botanical Garden hosted the 3rd Annual “Borjomi Great Georgian Holiday” this September 30 – October 1. Despite the cool weather, over these two days festival-goers put away 20,000 servings of khinkali and khachapuri, sampled 2,000 liters of wine and 15,000 cans of Borjomi! Nearly 200 kilometers of gyroscope rides around the park and 20 hours of authentic Georgian music and dance topped off the festivities.
Organizational spokeswoman Oksana Pankina described the event: "This year we employed both new and traditional tools to emphasize the diversity of Georgia. A place for downhill skiing or seaside relaxing, with authentic tradition and cutting edge modernity, ancient architecture and striking contemporary forms. We set the tone with a variety of activities and attractions, and used it to introduce our new product – Borjomi in an aluminum can – which was well received by festival-goers.”
And with around 40 booths serving Georgian cuisine at the festival food court, hungry visitors met with almost no standing in line during the entire event.
The festival featured lectures and a chance for our guests to “graduate from Georgia U” where well-known travel bloggers, photographers, gourmets and vintners shared invaluable life-hacks with potential tourists to Georgia about where to meet people, what to visit, and where to get the best bargains and find the most authentic Georgian experiences.
VR-headsets were made available to festival-goers, allowing them to visit must-see locations in Tbilisi and Batumi without leaving the park! And for appetites stirred up by a virtual tour, real modern Georgian delights were plentiful – oh! the mint khinkali! – in the short-term, and in the long-term, the festival offered master classes in Georgian cuisine preparation for the curious.
The highlight of the holiday involved the setting of a new record – 1,008 authentic, homemade khachapuri featuring three types of cheese and four kinds of herbs were prepared by Jumbo Grill cooks in just 13 minutes 10 seconds. The result was validated by representatives of the Ukrainian National Register of Records.
The popular Georgian band Mgzavrebi provided even more reason to fall in love with Georgia during their nearly three-hour performance at the festival. The band’s frontman, Gigi Dedalamazishvili told the audience: “We’ve been performing regularly in Ukraine for more than seven years. But this is the first time we’ve played a big public event dedicated to Georgia. We’re honored to bring you the sound of our Motherland, because of the authentically close friendship of Georgians and Ukrainians."
This is the 3rd "Borjomi Great Georgian Holiday” in Kyiv – an event that has become for many the most anticipated gathering on the city’s Fall festival schedule. Organizers promise that next year’s bash will be an even more captivating experience. And that there will be plenty to eat! Til’ next year!
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