The Slovenia Times

Tržic Observes Shoemaking Tradition with Fair


Over 20,000 people are expected to visit the event dedicated to celebrating the heritage of the town which has for centuries been synonymous with the shoemaking trade.

The Shoemakers' Sunday fair, running under the slogan of "Discover a New Tradition", is being attended by over two dozen exhibitors promoting the Slovenian shoe industry and over 100 other exhibitors.

The fair is one of the most important tourist events in the town of 15,000 people and also an important business gathering.

"The organisers are hoping to turn the fair into the main event of Slovenia shoemaking industry," said head of the Tržič Tourist Association Peter Miklič.

Shoemaking in the country has struggled following independence from Yugoslavia due to a loss of markets and fierce international competition.

One of the companies which has been hardest hit and is struggling to stay afloat is the Tržič-based Peko, the country's biggest shoe producer, which was the central theme of early Shoemakers' Sunday fairs.

Despite the struggles of traditional companies, Miklič said that many niche producers had emerged in recent year. To reflect this the event has transformed, shifting from the focus on Peko to giving an opportunity to smaller makers to present their products.

Miklič hopes that all up-and-coming craftsmen and businesses in the sector will use the fair in the future to promote themselves.

The event started in 1969 as a few stalls selling shoes and leather products and local products. It also featured an initiation ceremony for rookie shoemakers.

This year's ceremony will feature music acts and a rich offering of local food and beverage.


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