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On 15 June 2012, the Open Day at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava began with an invitation from the Military Music of the President of the Slovak Republic to meet with Mr. Ivan Gašparovič and Mrs. Silvia Gašparovičová. The Slovak presidential couple welcomed and personally accompanied the first visitors in the facilities of the palace.
During the morning already several thousand people expressed an interest to meet with the President, his wife and to have their signatures. Among them were mainly children and young people who visited Bratislava, but also a many delegations and individuals who wanted to personally shake hands, render a bouquet or a small gift to the head of state and his wife, but also to see the representative premises of the Presidential Palace. During the Open Day invisited the office of the Head of State 9,474 visitors.
Nearly two hundred images from children of primary schools in Banská Bystrica were sent to the President of Slovakia this year. Most popular became exposed paintings of winners of the nationwide art competition organized by the observatory in Banská Bystrica.
This year’s Open Day was signed not only by good weather and mood, but also by rich cultural and accompanying program, autograph signing of well-known athletes, performances of majorettes and military music, shown police cars, limousines and arms. Ivan Gašparovič and his spouse Silvia Gašparovičová almost could not manage to meet all those interested in a joint photograph, either in the Presidential Palace or in the courtyard.
President of the Slovak Republic welcomes the fact that not only children and pupils attend the event, "but also adults and older people. I am glad that Slovak countrymen got used to visit this event and they like to remember it very much – I often get nice feedback from abroad." Mrs. Silvia Gašparovičová also appreciated the increasing number of visitors. "It’s gratifying and pleasant. Many kindergarden classes came, who see it as a great experience. I really like to meet and talk to them," stated the First Lady.
Ivan Gašparovič particularly appreciated the spontaneous attention of children and he showed a small key chain, which he got donated from one of the children as a self-made gift. "From now it’s my talisman," said Mr. President with a smile.
The attractiveness of this year’s Open Day highlighted the presence and autograph signing of famous athletes – among them the ’silver’ hockey players from the recent World Cup Libor Hudáček, Juraj Mikuš, Miroslav Šatan, Marcel Haščák and Tomáš Starosta led by their coach Vladimír Vůjtek. Also tennis player Henrieta Nagyová, badminton player Monika Fašungová, footballer Miroslav Stoch, world champion in pushing hands Ľubomír Jagnešák, bodybuilder Štefan Havlík and our successful motorcyclist Štefan Svitko came.
In the garden of the Presidential Palace visitors appreciated many musical and folklore art groups performances, such as performance of the art trio La Gioia, singers Otto Kollman and his wife Silvia, concert of Berco Balogh and Karol Csino, or the performance of Nela Pocisková. The program was made also by the children’s folk ensembles Grbarčieta, Lúčka, Gerulata, folk ensemble Bukovinka from Braväcovo along with the female singing group Hronky from Banská Bystrica, folk music and singers from Horehronie, and various primary art schools in Bratislava. The rich accompanying program presented the members of the Falcon Yard Astur of the Red Stone Castle, workshops and children’s playground. Sports Club Sports By Playing organized many sports competitions for children, European Commission in Slovakia and the Slovak Red Cross also had their presentation.