Witness the wonder of beer-driven democracy at work

  • 2004-09-09
  • By Milda Seputyte
VILNIUS - Being true aficionados of their national beer, Lithuanians will once again set out to prove their loyalty to their national drink at the 11th annual beer festival, Tris Dienas, Tris Naktis (Three Days, Three Nights).

In previous years, hard drinking Lithuanians managed to set some pretty impressive records. The Lithuanian Book of Records notes three especially wild days and nights about 10 years ago, when 46.9 thousand litters were imbibed during the festival at Vingis Park. Unfortunately, the same record book fails to mention if there was a comparative record for emergency stomach pumps in the city's hospitals.
The beer marathon takes place Sept. 10 's12, and it will be the first time when the festival leaves its traditional venue of Vingis Park to extend to other Vilnius bars and restaurants. Nearly every entertainment venue in the city will be running some sort of special beer-associated program to get in on the festival fun. Roll over Munich.
Tiffany Pub, for instance, is arranging a tournament of beer-barrel lifting on Sept. 10. But if you don't feel strong enough to compete with beer-fueled strongmen, you could always check out your throwing skills in a beer-cap throwing tournament on Sept. 11.
And in case neither beer- barrel lifting nor beer-cap throwing really does it for you, then Tiffany Pub is holding a singing fest on the night of Sept. 12. Different teams will take turns to belch out a number, singing songs that start with an "A" (the first letter of the word "alus" 's the Lithuanian word for beer) and prizes will go to the team that make it both to the end of the alphabet and the evening in one piece.
Due to upcoming parliamentary elections in October, the organizers have chosen a political theme for the festival. According to the organizers, a pint of beer is a symbol of democracy that helps to enhance fruitful debate. So various political debates between the public and politicians are expected to take place over a (hopefully) friendly pint in Vingis Park.
As if that weren't surreal enough, a special team from the festival organizers featuring Lenin, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Caesar will be touring Vilnius' bars, pubs and restaurants, accompanied by a group of musicians, with a special program of competitions and prizes for people to prove their true devotion to beer. With all this going on, who would bet against the Lithuanians outdrinking themselves once again?

Three Days, Three Nights
Sep. 10-12
Vingis Park, Vilnius and selected bars, pubs and restaurants