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The jubilee commenced with a carnival in the centre of Belgrade, with the parade whose participants were children from 22 countries – including Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, France, Croatia, Armenia, Latvia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine. The special guests from another continent were the children from China. In addition to the orchestra which lead the parade, the carnival in Knez Mihailova Street and Kalemegdan also featured many musicians and dancing troupes, majorettes, clowns and many other performers which animated the children. At NIS’ stall on Trg Republike (Republic Square), the children could take part in a game, and to describe what they think happiness is in their own way, using drawings or writing. The slogan of the 50th Joy of Europe Festival – “Journey to the Centre of Happiness” is a reference to Jules Verne’s adventure novel, since 2019 is a recapitulation of the previous 50 years, when the eminent Donka Špiček and her colleagues came up with the idea for the International Gathering of Children of Europe, which is the largest and oldest international event of children’s creativity today, and thus began the journey into “the centre of happiness”, games and friendship. The four-day event will include many exhibitions, concerts, sports and recreational activities for children, while the festival’s closing ceremony will feature a spectacular Gala Concert of all participating countries, held at 18:00 on 5 October in Sava Centar in Belgrade. For 11 consecutive years, NIS has been promoting this event, which is special because of its long tradition, high-quality and importance it holds for Belgrade and Serbia. In this manner, in line with its slogan “Future at Work”, NIS supports the development of cultural diversity and true values, and promotes the sense of community and tolerance in children and young people. The founder and sponsor of the International Gathering of Children of Europe is the Belgrade City Administration, while the Children's Cultural Centre Belgrade is the executive producer.