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Birthday Celebrations

Published: May 28, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



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

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

  • Tuesdays celebrations.
    Photo: Eugene Egorov

  • Rain didnt 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. Isaacs 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. Isaacs 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 citys 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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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