In waiting of the carnival procession that will take place on June 28 in Bela Crkva, quiet Serbian town near the Romanian border livened up with outdoor parties, cultural and youth events within the traditional Flower Carnival.
This year's Flower Carnival, or "Karneval Cveca," which runs from June 21 to 29 has really shaken up the atmosphere in the quiet town of Bela Crkva, or "White Church" in English, some 100 km to the East of Belgrade, famous for its seven lakes that draw campers and fishermen over the summer.
On June 26, the street of Bela Crkva was closed for traffic, as every other festival day.
Along the street, in a stretch of some 500 meters visitors gathered to watch another evening show.
While on one of the street end some 150 salsa dancers from Belgrade and nearby town of Vrsac were getting ready twist and turn with the sounds of Cuban rhythms and melodies performed by trio called "Rey Beny." On the other side of the street kids competed at the main stage in front of the park at a children beauty competition.
Several hundred people gathered to watch as children tried to win extra points from the jury by sending kisses and turning like professional fashion models.
After winners of the beauty competition were announced a concert of school choir followed as well as performances of several local rock bands.
Street that leads from the main stage to the fun park with electric cars, carousel and other entertainment for the youngest is full of shops offering barbeque, cotton candy, candied apples and other traditional delights for manifestations of this type.
Mostly families with children that are on their way from the fun park to the concert stage and back to watch as Cuban salsa dancers resist heavy rain that suddenly started to fall.
Concerts of choirs, quartets, rock and folk bands, salsa evenings, poetry evenings, art exhibitions, children beauty competition and many other events that took place since June 21 will culminate in a carnival procession of domestic and foreign participants on June 28 and a firework with the sounds of the police orchestra in front of the park in Bela Crkva.
Flower Carnival has a 150-year-long tradition in this town of 10,000 people and by participating in it citizens modestly mark the beginning of the tourist season at nearby lakes.
Milan Belobabic that works in an archive in Bela Crkva says that in 1913 it is noted that 26 train wagons carried tourists from Belgrade that rushed to see the new exhibits at the carnival.
"It was a unique festival for those days because of the large scale exhibits made out of paper that were used instead of carnival masks," says Belobabic, recalling that the festival got its today's name in the 1960s as an association to flower farms that once existed in the city.
Today's festival is much smaller and its visitors are mostly locals and people from municipalities around Bela Crkva, but still while it lasts the spirit of togetherness and harmony of this small settlement can be felt in its fullest.
After the carnival procession of large scale paper exhibits that will take place on June 28, festival will close on June 29 with a competition in preparing fish soup at the camp on one of the seven lakes of Bela Crkva.
Visitors coming to Bela Crkva can also visit nearby Deliblato Sands, a protected natural reserve lying on top of ancient dunes, Vrsac Mountains that are famous for their wines, town of Banatska Palanka where the Danube River is the widest.
Visitors can also take a ferry from Banatska Palanka to Ram on the other side of the Danube and visit ruins of the Ram fortress. Some 30 km further to the south is Viminacium, a Roman heritage site.