Matějská pouť starts

Annual fair has 115 rides with dozens for younger children

The annual fun fair Matějská pouť is now under way in Prague's Výstaviště exhibition grounds in Holešovice and will run until April 17. The 54th edition of the fair has 115 rides including carousels, roller coasters, shooting games and a catapult ride. This year there will be more modern attractions that were not at the fair last year.

Admission from Tuesdays through Fridays is free, in an effort to get more people to come at off-peak times. On Saturdays and Sundays admission is Kč 30, with children up to 120 cm free. Each ride has a separate ticket price though. Křižík Fountain will have shows by the group Medúza on Saturdays and Sundays. The annual day for disabled children in March 20.

The least expensive rides are Kč 40 for a chain carousel, while Kč 50 or 60 will gain entry to the swans and bumper cars. More expensive rides are a large carousel that will take people dozens of meters in the air for Kč 100, and the Booster Maxx costs Kč 120. It has fixed arms with seats attached. The arms raise the seats in the air and they spin at high speed.

Bumper cars, swan carousels and other rides for younger visitors are located near the main entrance, while the adrenaline rides are in the lower part of the area. About three dozen rides are suitable for children 10 and under. About 20 attractions will remain in Výstaviště after the fair ends.

The fair also offers a variety of snacks from Lángos and hot dogs to candy and gingerbread.

The fair has its historical roots in religious pilgrimage for St Matthew, whose Czech name day is Feb. 24. Historically the fair's roots go back 422 years, but currently it is completely secular.

For more information on this year's Matějská pouť visit www.matejskapout.cz and www.facebook.com/events.

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