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Tour de Labe, Fringe and puppets

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Czech beer lovers, get ready for a big load of your favorite drink. Beginning on Friday, 22 May, the Czech Beer Festival will for the second time offer more than 50 different types of beer. Besides the well-known brands, you will get to sample beers from the local microbreweries, including Kocour, Permon, Berounský medvěd and Prague’s Pivovarský dům. The beers will be served by 300 young people in traditional costumes along with a selection of Czech traditional dishes. The festival will run through 31 May at the PVA Letňany Exhibition Centre.

Also opening on Friday, the Prague Fringe Festival will offer almost 40 ensembles and 200 performances in eight venues located in Malá Strana. The Blacksnow Theatre company is one of the festival openers. The Pen and Sward, their new comedy “about the clash of cultures and how terrorism has impacted life in the UK” will start at 6pm at Divadlo Na Prádle. Tickets for the opening shows on Friday will be only CZK 100 (regular price is CZK 150).

Already underway is the 13th World Festival of Puppet Art, which has again this year brought puppeteers from all over the world to share their craft in Prague. The next show you can see at the festival’s venue, the International Institute of Marionette Art (Karlova 12), is Shakespeare’s The Tempest, presented by Romania’s Luceafarul theatre IASI on Sunday. The festival also includes a special section featuring puppet films, workshops and seminars. Open to children and adults, the event runs through 31 May.

Children may also enjoy a number of shows included in a special “for kids” section of this year’s Tanec Praha festival of contemporary dance. In addition to Czech performers, two international guests will show their skills, Latvia’s Boot&Boat with their 4 Men in a Boat, and Denmark’s Club Fisk with a piece that “will bring a great portion of freeing humor to spectators”, the website says. The programme for kids will run from Saturday until Monday, 1 June at Divadlo Ponec. The festival will then continue also at Karlínské divadlo with an extensive programme offering a combination of hip hop and Gershwin’s music.

Prague Biennale is a large presentation of international art currently on show at Prague’s Karlín Halls. This former industrial space converted into an exhibit site until 26 July offers “the largest overview of young painting ever presented in a big international exhibition”. More than 120 young painters from Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, but also from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy have their works presented here along with young photographers from Central Europe and the United States.

But Dutch artists are getting the biggest attention these days under the project, which is opening in Prague, Brno, Olomouc and few other cities on Friday, 22 May. The will bring many Dutch artists, performers, architects and musicians and present their work in cooperation with the local festivals. The Prague Spring music festival will introduce the renown Nederlands Blazers Ensemble on Friday in Rudolfinum. The Prague Fringe will focus on Dutch theatre and several artists will perform within the Khamoro Roma music festival. The Horror Vacui exhibit focusing on urban development projects will open at Prague’s Jaroslava Fragnera gallery 28 May.

If looking for an outdoor activity outside of Prague and you like biking, you may want to join the cycling tour along the Labe river from 25 May until 3 June. The Tour de Elbe follows the river from its spring in the mountains to Dresden. You can either go for all 10 days or join the tour for one or two days. Organised by Rotary International and the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation (Nadace Partnerství), the tour aims to promote and improve the cycling paths alongside the river. The itinerary includes among others a visit to the horse-breeding farm in Kladruby, the Nymburk brewery tour, sightseeing, swimming and wine tasting.

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