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Birthday Celebrations

Published: May 28, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • Children enjoying the ice cream festival on Sunday.
    Photo: Nina Filimonova

  • St. Isaac’s Square was a sea of white as thousands gathered to sing together.
    Photo: Alexandra Gurskaya

  • Tuesday’s celebrations.
    Photo: Eugene Egorov

  • Rain didn’t dampen the dancing spirit as more than 4,000 locals danced down Nevsky Prospekt.
    Photo: illusion studio

  • Celebrations on Sunday ended with a free gala concert on Palace Square
    Photo: Stas Levshin

On May 27, St. Petersburg officially celebrated its 311th birthday however, city celebrations began days before. Kicking off the festivities was a choir event on May 24 held at St. Isaac’s Square, which saw almost 5,000 professional and amateur singers, aged from seven up to 92, gather together and sing.

Attending the event was President Vladimir Putin and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, which was also dedicated to celebrating the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture.

“This wonderful tradition of choir singing has taken shape right in front of our eyes; we hear songs that unite our great Russia because these songs are the very history of our people, its culture and soul,” said Putin, speaking at the event.

The celebrations on Sunday started with an ice cream festival held at Ploschad Ostrovskogo. Children from orphanages enjoyed free amusement rides while all guests were treated to samples from a 500 kilogram pancake.

At 2 p.m. the same day, another choir sang on Birzhevaya Ploschad. The choir was made up of 700 pupils from school No. 56. Despite the heavy rain, the young singers still performed. Meanwhile at St. Isaac’s Square, the choir from the day before was replaced with a military orchestra from the Western military district.

At 5 p.m. more than 4,000 people danced on Nevsky Prospect, starting from Sadovaya Ulitsa through to Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki. All participants wore clothes in the colors of the Russian flag, with spectators also invited to join in on the fun.

A free gala concert called Gala of Opera and Ballet Stars was also held at 9 p.m. on Palace Square, which included both opera and dance performances.

“We were worried about the event after the heavy rain just before the concert as a lot of equipment was damaged,” said Ekaterina Galanova, general producer of the event. “It was the best present when the weather improved and, in the end, thousands of people attended.”

Celebrations on Sunday ended with a traditional firework display.

Yesterday, the city’s official birthday, flowers were placed by the Bronze Horseman, a monument depicting Peter the Great, the founder of the city. Celebrations then continued at the Peter and Paul Fortress, where the city was founded on May 27, 1703.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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