The Grape Ball (in Serbian Grožđebal) is the traditional manifestation of grape harvesting. It takes place during the third weekend of September, in various cities in Serbia and the region. However, the Grape Ball in the city of Vršac is the most famous one. This year, from September 15th to September 18th, people will gather in this city to participate in some of the numerous events that will happen all around the city. In previous years, more than 100,00 people were attending the festival! So, we guarantee that you will not be bored at any moment. If you truly want to immerse into Serbian culture and feel the tradition, now you have a chance to do it!
The long history of Grape Ball
The first written document mentioning the wine industry of Vršac dates back to 1484. However, the first Grape Ball – Wine exhibition in the city took place in the traditional restaurant ‘At Two Keys’, in 1857. Since then, different traditions have been established which shaped the Grape Ball for years to come. However, if we talk about the modern-day Grape Ball, it was officially established a bit later. So this year, we are celebrating the 64th Grape Ball.
In the official opening ceremony, the major of Vršac hands over the keys of the city to Vinko Lozić (“Grapey Winey”), who is representing Bacchus – the god of wine and festivity. Vinko is a character in the novels of Serbian writer Jovan Sterija Popović. The character came to life as a mascot of celebrations in the city.
During those days, the streets of Vršac are bustling. Winemakers, artists and craftsmen, and sellers of food and souvenirs will politely invite you to come and buy something from their artistically decorated stands. And indeed, people are the ones who are creating a genuine festival atmosphere.
Cultural events and exhibitions on Grape Ball 2022
The central place of Grape Ball, as expected, is wine. You will be able to watch the wine production process, learn about vineyard growing and picking, and of course, enjoy the wine tasting.
The Carnival is the most appealing aspect of the Grape Ball for all guests. Dozens of bands and performers from all around Serbia will keep you entertained all day long. Expect to see many cultural and artistic groups, athletic clubs, fencing clubs, and even the Vespa Motorcycle Fan Club, at this year’s Grape Ball. We prepared a list of the main events, by the days, so you can decide when to decide this beautiful city in Vojvodina plans.
Thursday, September 15th
On Thursday, you are invited to attend pre-opening events, such as musical programs, concerts, and Miss Grape Ball selection. It is definitely fun for everyone attending, so let’s see who will be the Queen of this year’s ball.
Friday, September 16th
On Friday, the Grand Opening with fireworks will take place on the main stage in the city center. After that, at 22:00, the concert of Serbian famous composer and singer Željko Vasić will begin. Also, on this day, many different exhibitions will begin. Even children will be able to participate in a number of workshops that will take place at different locations in the city.
Saturday, September 17th
Saturday afternoon is reserved for the children! The Children Masked Ball will start at 10:00 on the main stage. Then, the children’s choir performances will follow. However, the night is the time when adults will have more fun, especially at the concerts of Danica Krstić and Haris Džinović. Grape Ball Guitar Festival also takes place on Saturday, at 22:00.
Sunday, September 18th
Sunday is definitely the most colorful day. At 12:00, Vršac carnival starts, grapes are being tossed from the plane (for real!), and the closing manifestation takes place.
How to get to Vršac and Grape Ball
Vršac is only 85 km away from Belgrade and it is very easy to reach. You will be there in 1 hour by car. You can easily get there by bus or train as well, and it takes around 1h 45m. We recommend taking the train and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Panonian plain. The city center of Vršac is pedestrian-friendly and all main sights are near each other. If you truly want to feel like a local – rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels! Vršac Castle and Vršac Hill are a bit outside of center. But after a pleasant hike, you will be rewarded by the excellent view of the city and the surrounding plain.
Even though Vršac is a smaller city, it is still full of activities for all ages. Local people are big fans of sports, even extreme ones, so if you haven’t tried some of them – now is the perfect time. Mountain-biking, free climbing and even snow boarding are all taking place in the vicinity. Vršac is also the home of flight training academy, and yes, this city also has the training airport. We invite you to come and see what this city has to offer. And we are looking forward to hearing your impressions!