Summer brings out the exhibitionist in everyone. Whether its shirtless Joe, hot pants Jan or the impromptu girl group screaming NKOTBSB's collective greatest hits after too many PBRs, the whole world is just ready to perform, following the flowers lead. The heat expands the air like a curtain opening on one big stage.
In Košice, a musical fountain spurts climactically along with Celine Dion's high notes and lights the water in neon as Frank Sinatra croons about another city half a world away. It's odd and corny and the waterworks and soundtrack aren't always expertly linked, but the locals love it. Kids dare each other to run in, wedding portraits are taken in front of it, teens use it as a meeting point to just start their night.
When we arrived, the Summer Music Fest was going on. A mix gendered dance group called "Pastels Fashion Show" took the stage to a roar of screaming girls, which we soon realized was just part of their backing track. The outdoor cafe's were full and tweens rushed toward the stage, brimming with excitement for the next act, a ska-ish band called "Billy Barman" with a bouffant haired lead singer and tight-panted bespectacled guitarist.
After the stage was packed up and the official schedule of events had been completed, the town - amazingly - didn't change all that much. The following afternoon welcomed just as many outdoor coffee and beer drinkers, just as much general bustle. The sound of a Spanish guitar lured us to a tapas restaurant where couples twirled each other around, salsa dancing. We watched from inside, where we dined on paella alone. No one sat inside in Košice, and barely anyone ordered food. It was all about being out and about, fitting as many people around a table as possible and nursing a beverage until the sun went down. When summer daylight is your spotlight, the show can go on for at least three acts.
Even the aforementioned shirtless Joe contributed to the city's musicality, ruining at least a dozen wedding portraits on his way. His two friends trailed on bicycles, shaking their heads and laughing at his audacity - following him just the same.