Narratives, Myths and Sense of Place in the Public Image of Three Festivals in Bulgaria
The object of this study is the public image of three local festivals in Bulgaria: the Festival of Rose in Kazanlak, July Morning in Kamen Bryag and the Festival of Peppers, Tomatoes, Traditional Foods and Crafts in Kurtovo Konare. The public image of the three festivals is decomposed to the following elements for the sake of the analysis: narrative (history, myth), human factor, sense of place and public communication. The methods included participant observations, in-depth interviews, desk research of scientific literature, online and social media. The study revealed that the Festival of Rose in Kazanlak is part of an integrated cultural and tourist product, identified with the good local governance. July Morning in Kamen bryag, once a celebration of an alternative sub-society, has been commercialized towards fragmented (dispersed) festive events which obscured the sense of community and the sense of place affiliated with the initial phenomenon. Local farmers with their inherent sense of identity, agrarian knowledge and willingness to associate at a local level, play a central role in the publicity of Kurtovo Konare Fest. Local festivals share a distinctive feature: striving for the well-being of the local community. The result is an increase in the reputation of the region, attracting of media attention, awakening of the real estate market, spatial rehabilitation, improvement of road infrastructure, expansion of tourism opportunities and strengthening of networks for civic participation. This abstract is based on results within the project “Local Festivals: A Resource of Local Communities for Coping with Crises”, funded by the National Scientific Fund of Bulgaria – Ministry of Education (KP-06-H45 / 5 of 30.11.2020).
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