Canton Graubünden is to celebrate its 200th anniversary next month far from home within the confines of Zurich railway station.This content was published on August 27, 2003 - 09:48
But this is not stopping more than 700 artists from across the canton travelling the 120 kilometres for three days of theatre, music and dance.
And to ensure no one misses out on the action, locals can buy a return ticket to Zurich from anywhere in the canton for 2003 centimes ($14). Hence the event’s title, “Zurich Return”.
Mariano Tschuor, director of the organising committee, told swissinfo that the canton had turned to Zurich because Graubünden lacked a large enough arena to host the festivities.
Switzerland’s biggest city also has the largest population of Graubünden expatriates.
“Zurich main station has become the stage for many events. The challenge is to turn this venue into a place of culture and to create a celebration of Graubünden,” said Tschuor.
“The title ‘Zurich Return’ also signifies that we will return to our mountains and valleys after the festivities – it’s an arrival and departure,” he added.
Claudio Lardi, a member of Graubünden’s cantonal government and co-president of the organising committee, sees no shame in holding the party so far away from home.
“People will be amazed what the canton Graubünden has to offer,” he said. “A new and surprising side of Graubünden will be on display during the three days of the celebration,” he said.
At the heart of the festivities lies the “Graubünden Revue”, a spectacle showing the traditional as well as the contemporary cultural sides of the canton.
Paul Weibel, who is directing the spectacle, describes the production as “smart, culturally diverse and irritating” in equal measure.
The 2003-centime rail ticket also includes entry to one of the three public shows of the Graubünden Revue.
Tschuor says the event is designed to show the good and the bad sides of Graubünden and share them with all of Switzerland.
And Zurich main station, he adds, is not only a place where thousands of people pass through every day, but also a beautiful architectural site.
“We will celebrate with all of Switzerland and show that Graubünden is both open-minded and world friendly.”
swissinfo, Daniela Silberstein
The festivities run from September 5-7.
The canton joined the Confederation in 1803.
It has a population of 189,200.
It is one of the least densely populated cantons in Switzerland, with only 27 residents per km².
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