For the first time since the titles were established, three ethnic Hungarians were among the recipients of this year’s Excellence Awards at Arad City Day, local Hungarian news portal Nyugati Jelen reports.
In previous years, the anniversary was a cause for several days of street festivities and was thus called Arad City Days. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic, which saw a second wave of infections reach record highs in mid-August, was restricted to a single event in front of City Hall. The attending audience had their temperature checked and those who did not bring one were also given a face mask.
Also somewhat unusually, the celebration surrounds Arad’s birthday not based on something from its recent 100-year history as part of Romania, but from a date in 1834, when the town received the title of “free royal town” on August 21 from the Austrian emperor.
The moderators of the ceremony were Bordan Costea, director of the local theater, and actor Zoltán Lovas.
This year, the Hungarian winners were textile artist Annamára Móré-Sághi, economist Károly Fekete and former swimmer and current coach Márton Lipták.
The city’s highest award, the Pro Urbe Award, was given to experimental astrophysicist Anamaria Effler, or rather her mother, as the scientist could not make the trip from California for the ceremony; Effler is a researcher at the California Institute of Technology.
According to the latest, 2011 census, Arad has just under 160,000 inhabitants, 10 percent of whom are ethnic Hungarians.
Title image: (L to R) Annamária Móré-Sághy, Károly Fekete, Márton Lipták.