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On Thursday, June 28, 2018, The President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović held a reception entitled Open Door Day. The invitation was open to individuals and organizations from the Croatian diaspora as well as those from the Croatian minorities from neighboring countries. Also, due to the events of the 52nd Croatian Fraternal Union’s Tamburitza Festival taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, participants of the Festival and their family and friends from the United States were also invited.
Two Ambridge Area School District students, 6th Grader Mackenzie Keber and 7th Grader, Gianna Petalino were in attendance at this Open Door Day Reception. Mackenzie and Gianna are members of the Jadran Beaver Valley Junior Tamburitzans that traveled to Croatia this past June to perform in the 52nd annual Croatian Fraternal Union’s Tamburitza Festival. They spent 12 days touring the country and learning many historical facts about the country and its heritage.
One of the many highlights of this tour was being able to be in attendance at the Presidental Palace for this Open Door Day Reception. The first floor of the Presidential Palace was open to the guests for their viewing. After listening to remarks by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and a musical and dance performance from local groups dressed in traditional costumes, our students got a chance to meet the president and take pictures with her.