During six festival days, the 5th International Festival of Nature and Tradition “Zestival” offered variety of contest like concerts, business gatherings, exhibition of traditional products, Bohemian night in honor to famous people from Uzice and sport competition for children. On Sunday, 25th August, more than 100 producers of brandy and traditional local products from Serbia, Montenegro and B&H exhibited their products. In addition to the already traditional fruit brandies, there were products such as wine, juices, jams, paper pate, meat and milk products, agricultural equipment, equipment for processing fruits and vegetables, but also sweat licider hearts, honey, handicraft products and Zlakusa pottery.
This year the jury evaluated 131 samples of brandy in the agricultural and distillery category.
Mr. Velimir Stanojevic, State Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia during his visit to the festival stated: “Our goal, which is the policy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, is to add value, to build processing capacities, especially on small farms where products are made using modern technologies, but according to the recipes of our ancestors.”
Mayor of the City of Uzice, Tihomir Petkovic pointed out that “Zestival” is a unique economic tourist event that grows year after year into an event that, in addition to promoting authentic production based on tradition and old recipes, its multi-day cultural events which attracts an increasing number of visitors. “Our goal is to motivate people to return to nature, autochthonous varieties of fruits and vegetables and the production that is based on them, and with the aim of making the final product of high quality.
Branislav Mitrovic, President of the Festival Organizing Committee stated “Today, at the Festival, small family-owned companies are ready to exhibit their products on the market and to support their families from their work. It is a great success and after only five years we have managed to attract the attention not only of small producers from Serbia, but also from the region.
After the awards ceremony, visitors at the City Square were able to see and taste the largest bun in the world – komplet lepinja, traditional dish from Uzice, prepared by the famous Uzice bakery Suljaga, followed by a cultural and artistic program of Uzice folklore associations.
The event is supported within the project “Support to economic diversification of rural areas in Southeast Europe (SEDRA)” implemented by SWG and GIZ.