38% of the respondents would like to mark the Liepāja's 400th birthday with large scale free events, 17.5% - with manifold urban landscaping activities and 14.5% are interested in seeing new urban objects, according to a survey of Liepāja residents carried out by the foundation "Liepāja 2027 Foundation" in the end of September.
In 2025, the city of Liepāja will reach the major milestone of 400 years, and we asked the local residents to contribute to the event planning. From 18 to 30 September, we run public opinion survey, encouraging people to give their opinion on the general approach to the celebrations, to consider how they would like to be part of the celebrations, and to submit other ideas and suggestions. We got a total feedback from 228 residents, with around 500 different proposals.
"I have always stated that Liepāja is about us, the people of Liepāja. And the birthday of Liepāja is our celebration, that of all Liepāja residents. That's why I am very pleased our local community is so active in sharing their ideas and suggestions on how to make the best celebration of this remarkable jubilee for all of us, sharing their thoughts both in person and on the social media. Thank you for showing care for our city, not only in times of the celebrations, but also in your everyday life!" said Gunārs Ansiņš, Chairman of the Liepāja City Council.
38% of the participants said they would like to celebrate Liepāja's milestone anniversary with large free events targeted at different audiences, 17.5% said they wished to see different urban environment upgrading, 14.5% thought new urban objects and installations might be a good idea, 9% believed that the 400th birthday should be celebrated by reviving history, 7.5% were in favour of having a special city decoration, 6% suggested joint sports events and 7.5% indicated various other, individual ways of celebrating the milestone. In response to the question how they would be willing to get involved in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Liepāja, 53% of respondents answered that they would be willing to participate, 16% - to suggest an idea, 11% - to mobilise their own neighbourhood, 10% of respondents would be willing to organise various activities themselves and 10% said they would be ready to engage with various private initiatives. 28% of the respondents would like to contribute to a tidy environment around them as a gift to the city, 16% consider that their greatest gift is to stay in Liepāja, work and start a family here, 11% are willing to participate in various activities (with some hands-on assistance, ideas, sharing contacts), 8% consider the best and most valuable gift to be bringing up children and contributing to the younger generation here, while 1% are ready to volunteer, 1% - to express themselves creatively, 1% - to involve the neighbours, to mobilise the neighbourhood, and 30% of the survey participants would like to gift various other things and activities, such as flower carpets, share the stories about Liepāja, to see a new rock café, a new shop, a thanksgiving moment to God, a video, joy and happiness, good mood, etc.
In response to the question of what they would suggest to the organisers of the celebration - 9% of the participants replied that the we must involve the local community in the organisation of the celebration, 8% called for organising large celebration events, 8% - to create a programme suitable for all social backgrounds, 7% - to organize activities for families with children, 5% indicated that the organizers should plan a programme that is financially sustainable, 5% called for celebrating history through various activities, 5% suggested activating neighbourhoods/residential districts, 3% urged to involve independent cultural venues/societies, 3% suggested to include socially disadvantaged groups, 2% recommended to add sports activities to the programme, 2% would like to see a large information campaign, and 40% marked "various" with feedback on good wishes, individual suggestions, such as organising cinema evenings, congratulating senior residents, creating mobile cafés, building a water park, organising a "Made in Liepaja" fair, choral singing, making a video with contributions from Liepāja people, etc.
The 400th anniversary of Liepāja will not be celebrated with a single event, but through diverse and engaging year-long activities, spanning multiple segments and happenings. Following the survey data, analysis of the proposals and in-person discussion with the residents of Liepāja, it was agreed to extend the overall concept of the celebration to "Liepāja 400 - in creative (un)rest". Liepāja has always been and continues to be a city of growth, change and resilience. As we approach the 400th anniversary of Liepaja, we encourage you to join us in celebrating these qualities and the resilient spirit of our city, while respecting and honouring the past and looking confidently forward to the next 400 years of Liepāja.
Taking into account that the guiding motto of the European Capital of Culture 2027 is (un)rest, we will encourage people to appreciate both restful and quiet moments through this perspective, to unplug from daily concerns, and to attend the events of the 400th anniversary of Liepāja, but at the same time to awaken the dormant spirit of creative unrest within ourselves by providing the opportunity to participate in various community engagements and initiatives, to become interactive rather than silent bystanders.
If you also have any other suggestions or ideas for celebrating the 400th anniversary of Liepāja, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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