Cultural and Touristic Association of Ipoly-valley
The Cultural and Touristic Association of the Ipoly-valley was established in January of 2001, to rescue and support our ethnographic and folk art values, and to raise the necessary funds for this aim.
The civil association was registered on January 30, 2001 in the Slovakian Ministry of the Interior. The association was formed by those members of the organizations in our village (CSEMADOK), who think the development of the village, respect for traditions, frontier cooperation, the establishment of rural tourism, and last but not least, making new employment opportunities in the region - where the unemployment rate is 34% - are important things. Our further purpose is to establish cultural tourism in the Lower Ipoly-valley in co-operation with national and Hungarian organizations.
We would like our village to become the cultural centre of the Lower Ipoly-valley by the leading of our association.
Our achievements so far are:
- Creating and operating a living country house, buying a farmhouse made from adobe, sponsored by the Illyés Public Foundation, renovating and running the farmhouse, handicraft demonstrations - courses, one-day and several day programs for schools, families and senior citizens
- Ceremonial opening of the country house on October 23, 2003
- Accommodation (mattresses in the attic of the recently built part of the country house)
- Organizing the I-IX. Summer Youth Craftsmen Camps since 2000, 3x1 week sessions each year, children together from Hungary and Upper Hungary
- Organizing every year the grape harvest festivities including all the 5 villages of the Ipoly-valley, and a Hungarian village called Letkés
- 'Explore your environment!' - making treasure-finder paths, touristic excursions to the surrounding mountains, horse riding and horse-drawn carriage riding
- Wine tasting in the Cellar Village
- Renovating the outdoor stage, and finishing the building of the dressing-room in 2001, 2008
- Our Heritage - International Spring Children's Folklore Festival for children groups in the region, every year since 2004
- Reviving the tradition of national weaving with a course in 2001, making carpets in the country house for customers
- Basketwork, rope-making, cornhusk, sedge...
- 'Your Land'- program to establish the partnership including the 5 villages of the Lower Ipoly-valley, which resulted in the foundation of the Lower Ipoly-valley Micro-region by Szalka, Kiskeszi, Bajta, Leléd and Helemba in April, 2003
- Reviving the Easter traditions every year since 2004
- Constructing a craftsmen workshop at the country house, running the outdoor oven - baking kuglof and flan, receiving groups for all-day programs
- Giving employment through work at the country house
Our plans for the future include setting up more accommodation, promoting the region, creating employment opportunities and making connections beyond the frontier.