The hop-harvest festival is a major cultural event organized by the royal city of Zatec which was first mentioned in writing over a thousand years ago. The event is held regularly on the first Friday and Saturday in September. The admission is free of charge. Originally, the event was meant as a celebration of the last hops to be picked. Over the years it has undergone a number of changes. Today the festival takes place mainly in the Liberty Square. The main stage is just in front of the town hall, and this is where music of different kinds is played on both days. Beer-drinking contests and hop-picking competitions are part of the event. Manual hop-picking and dancing with a mug of beer on the head are great favourites with the audience. Dominating the programme is the promotion of the selected hop grower to the rank of a knight, and his decoration with a hop wreath, the opening of a keg and the picking of the very last hops in the smallest hop field in the world in the same square. There are special programmes on two other stages. The stage for the children is the place where different types of competitions are organized, songs are sung, and games are played with the children taking part and enjoying themselves until the end of the afternoon. They can win prizes as well. In the evening amateur rock groups and one or two rock music stars play here. The second stage is where folk and country music is played.