In Hotel Osijek on 4th of May was announced 18th Pannonian Challenge, whose line-up, both sports and musical, will exceed our expectations this year. Besides the already announced performers (S.A.R.S., Bad Copy, Frenkie, and many others), that will spice up the BMX, skateboarding, and inline competitions, Let3 will also perform. This year’s full age Pannonian will be held from 7th ‘till 11th of June, and, for the joy of visitors, the tickets for the sports’ part of the festival will be free for all viewers, while the tickets for the musical part will be 20 HRK per night.
Host of Pannonian Challenge Jurica Barać pointed out a few novelties that we should expect at this year’s festival:
’’We have only a month until the 18th Pannonian Challenge, and I’m honored that this year a world champion and the world’s biggest BMX name right now will pay a visit this year – Australian Martin Logan. Besides that, in the night part of the festival we’ll be entertained by S.A.R.S., Let3 and many other names that guarantee a great time. A special gift for our audience is a free entrance to the sports part of the event!’’
Barać mentioned that for the atmosphere of this year’s Pannonian will take care of over 300 top sportsmen in the world, more than 200 hard working volunteers and members of the organization, and over 50 musicians from our region. He also invited everyone to come for a barbeque on June 7th in the park.
That Pannonian is one of the most important brands of Osijek agrees with its mayor Ivica Vrkić, who said during a conference that the festival profiled into an inevitable part of the sport-entertainment-tourism the city of Osijek has to offer. It gathers not only Osijek’s youth, but guests from all over the world too, which helps send a picture of Osijek all around the world.
‘’Pannonian is celebrating its 18th birthday this year, which proves its quality and maturity, and attractiveness for many visitors. It grew into not only a city, but a regional event of this type, and it’s written into the map of extreme sports’ competitions that attract the world’s best BMX riders and skaters’’, said the mayor of Osijek, Ivica Vrkić.
But, this festival isn’t only a trademark of Osijek, but the entire Osječko-Baranjska county, and its prefect Vladimir Šišljagić said that he often remembers the skaters on Ante Starčević square and the feeling of pride when the first park was made, and then the second… Besides that Pannonian Challenge being a city and county’s brand is worth the praise, Šišljagić also pointed out that the festival is an example of hard work and creativity of extreme sports’ lovers.
‘’Nowadays, Pannonian Challenge is a proven project, Croatian and a global event, that is approached to seriously and responsibly, but still radiates with a cheerful and sports spirit of all the participants and viewers, despite the mosquitoes. That’s what we need.’’
Pannonian Challenge has shown us in the past 18 years its importance for tourism. Besides the fact that it attracts riders from all over the world, those 5 days are also a home for all the visitors that spread the word everywhere in the world. Minister of tourism’s assistant Snježana Brzica stated that everyone is aware how sun and sea isn’t the only thing needed to attract tourists.
‘’It’s very important to have many offers for tourists, especially on our continent, where it’s very important to increase the recognition of Croatia as a tourists’ destination. That’s why events such as Pannonian Challenge contribute to creating an image of Croatia as a destination with many interesting offers and activities that’ll make everyone want to visit. ‘’
Pannonian developed from a small competition for local riders to a extreme sports’ competition of global range. To get where it’s now, longtime partners helped out, among which Vipnet stands out the most. Director of Vipnet’s cooperative communications Martina Rizman Matić said on a press conference:
‘’A successful cooperation between Pannonian Challenge and Vipnet continues for the 6th season, and this project will bring sporting excitement to Osijek and his visitors, and will enrich city’s tourist offer. Winning spirit of Pannonian will this year too be completed with interesting activities in Vip’s tent at the event, and many surprises on our social networks. Here I’d like to highlight our charity fundraising platform Čini pravu stvar (Do the right thing). With it everyone can set their own challenge and encourage their friends and acquaintances to raise money for one of the 33 associations on www.cinipravustvar.hr. This way I would like to specially give thanks to BMX rider Marin Ranteš who connected his sporting challenge and competition on Pannonian Challenge with raising money on Čini dobru stvar to help the HUPT association that gathers paraplegics and tetraplegics. I also invite other competitors, and their supporters to become ambassadors for humanity.’’
Pannonian Challenge wouldn’t be itself it weren’t for the riders that come back every year. Although, Osijek’s audience likes it the most when one of the Croatian skaters or BMX, and inline riders ride in the park.
Marin Ranteš, Croatia’s best BMX rider, is from Varaždin, but Osijek is his second home.
„Pannonian has great importance in my life, especially because it’s the only competition of that type in my country. Of course, in front of the domestic audience I have an extra encouragement to show my best, and also, Osijek is my second home, here I feel like a host, I want to host all my friends here, show them the beauty of Slavonia, show them the spirit of our people, try and meet them with specialties of the Croatian cuisine, and last, but not least – give them the best after party.’’
Once again, Pannonian Challenge will gather some of the best extreme sports’ riders, and musicians and bands in the region from 7th ‘till 11th of June, and will start another extremely hot summer in Slavonia.