Makarska and the surrounding small coastal villages have nurtured the spirit of fun, games and dancing since their beginnings. First public gatherings were initially organised to celebrate religious holidays, and they attracted pilgrims from every part of the south Dalmatia region. Thus, for centuries, it has been the place of worship and celebration of patron saints. The patron saint of Makarska is St. Clement. These religious gatherings evolved into present-day town festivals with the arrival of the first travelling caravans, singing troupes, musicians, troubadours, actors and jugglers. Mastering, applying and adapting these skills for the amusement of the common crowds was an easy feat in this region. And just imagine the inspiration drawn from stories told by the first sailors returning from distant shores. They told their tales while drinking wine in taverns to dumbfounded people who intently soaked up every word, often in disbelief. Ever since then, the town under the Biokovo mountain was ready to host truly big festivals. One of the grander ones from the late 19th century was the summer festival celebrating the feast of St. Lawrence.
The growth of tourism in Makarska meant the growing abundance of culture and entertainment. The name Makarska is synonymous with a rich cultural and art programme that brings the whole town to life and imbues it with the fun and festive spirit of the Mediterranean. Summers in Makarska are known for entertainment and sporting events, with music heard on every corner: from beaches, squares and hotel terraces. Numerous classical concerts, performances of a cappella (klapa), folklore and dancing groups, Croatian and foreign singers, and various other performers make for a joyful and relaxing atmosphere. Performers perform on improvised stages in an authentic Dalmatian setting: stone arches, alleys, squares, centuries old churches and idyllic woods in front of the Church of St. Peter located on the peninsula of the same name (Sveti Petar).