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How to Celebrate Russia Day in St. Petersburg

Published: June 12, 2014 (Issue # 1815)



  • The Admiralty, left, and nearby Palace Square will be the location of many events celebrating Russia Day.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As Petersburgers look for ways to spend the long weekend in celebration of Russia Day on June 12, a number of cultural events offer festive entertainment for every taste, reports Fontanka.ru.

The official program includes a number of free tours dedicated to the history of St. Petersburg and Leningrad as well as the residents who contributed to the development of the city and its culture. To participate in the tours simply arrive at one of the following starting points between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The excursions cover a wide range of themes including, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad (gather at Gostiny Dvor metro station); the 310th anniversary of the Summer Garden (Summer Gardens); the 180th anniversary of the opening the Hermitage and the Alexander Column (meet under the arch of the General Staff building); Lermontov and St. Petersburg (the Griboyedov Canal entrance to the Nevsky Prospekt metro station); the 215th anniversary of Pushkin's birth (Gostiny Dvor metro station); the 285th anniversary of the birth of Catherine the Great (Ploshchad Ostrovskogo); the Mariinsky Theatre and the Conservatory (Teatralnaya Ploshchad); the 125th anniversary of the birth of Anna Akhmatova (Gostiny Dvor metro station); and the founding of St. Petersburg (Peter and Paul Fortress).

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., anyone interested in trying their hand at a bit of plein-air drawing can join artists who are waiting on the spit of Vasilievsky Island in the shadow of the Rostral columns and the spit of Zayachy Island next to the Peter and Paul Fortress to help participants capture iconic views of the city.

And what would a citywide celebration in St. Petersburg be without a few concerts? June 12 is no exception and from noon to 3 p.m. dancers will perform on special stages set up across the city center, to be followed by musical performances. Russian folk dances from the pre-Petrine era will be followed by a naval orchestra in the Alexandrovsky Gardens (near the Admiralty). Ploshchad Isskustv will feature dancing from the court of Peter the Great and the military orchestra of the Preobrazhensky Regiment. Malaya Konushennaya Ulitsa will be awash in ballroom dancing from the late 19th century followed by an orchestra dressed in period costume. In front of Dom Radio on Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa, folk dances from across Russia will be performed followed by a concert by an orchestra in period costume. Alexandrovsky Park (Gorkovskaya metro station) will host an orchestra dressed in WWI uniforms, while on Ploshchad Ostrovskogo an orchestra will entertain audiences in modern military uniform.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Dec. 18


Improve your English and knowledge of British culture during today’s FORM lesson at the British Book Center. These free English lessons with a native speaker elaborate not only on grammar particulars but cultural topics as well. Today’s event will discuss the BBC Two documentary “Victorian Farm Christmas.”



Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


TheZenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



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