Emona Promenade Festival is an annual international street festival, dedicated to the open-air theatre, puppetry and street circus offering a versatile programme with numerous genres, from theatre and puppet plays to various workshops for children and adults. Launched in 2001, it takes place traditionally every last weekend in August, before the start of the new school year.
At its very beginnings, it complemented the KUD France Prešeren's Trnfest Festival in the Ljubljana quarter Trnovo. Today, the Emona Promenade Festival is run by the cultural centre for children and youth House of Children and Arts, its art director being Irena Rajh, a puppeteer-animator, puppetry educator and organiser of cultural events.
With its concept of socialising and creating on the street, the Emona Promenade Festival became well established in Slovenia and internationally. It is one of the most recognisable international festivals for children and families in the city of Ljubljana, each year attracting more and more visitors. In 2017, over 800 visitors attended the programme each day, for a total of almost 3000 friends of street art and the accompanying socialising.
The basis of Emona Promenade Festival consists of a selected programme of plays, creative workshops and interactive games for all ages. The organiser pays special attention to the mini-forms of "small size" performances and border performances that already have their home in the House of Children and Arts: fairy tales, traditional Japanese theatre Kamishibai, puppet shows for adults, street theatre and creative workshops in the open.
Each year, the three-day festival focuses on another country: Hungary, Italy or Austria have been represented in the past. However, artists from other countries perform in those editions, too. In 2018, the performers were Catalonian group Guixot De 8, a regular guest at the festival; the Fru Fru Puppet Theatre; Belle Etage and Gundberg Theatre from Austria; the street clowns Oskar & Strudel from Australia and Switzerland; and Claudio & Consuelo from Italy with their Travelling Kitchen. Children and adults could also attend the dance workshop Dance of the Drops and other creative workshops run by the House of Children and Arts.
The Emona Promenade Festival is usually followed by the festival Stories under the Bridge. A part of the festival was also the walk-in performance Emona Path, in which it was possible to experience the period of the Roman Emona, as Ljubljana was called 2000 years ago. All events are free of charge.
The 2019 Emona Promenade festival introduced some programme changes, including the Panorama - KinoTheatre programme.