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City Marks Russia Day With a Splash

Published: June 18, 2014 (Issue # 1816)



  • Professional kite surfers from around the world took part in the festival, impressing locals with their skills.
    Photo: Kirill Umrikhin

The biggest celebration for Russia Day, June 12, was not in the center of the city this year but in St. Petersburg’s 300th Anniversary Park, where the Beeline Kite Surfing festival was held, featuring extreme water sports, live music and street food.

Professional kite surfers from around the world attended the event, all ready to show off their best tricks. However, the event was not just for professionals — instructors were on hand to give lessons and help amateurs, and they gave lectures on the sport to those interested in beginning.

Using a kite and a board to move across the water, surfers use wind to propel themselves and do tricks in the air. According to the 2012 International Sailing Federation and International Kite Surfing Association, there are an estimated 1.5 million kite surfers worldwide.

As well as kite surfing, visitors to the festival also took part in a paddleboard race, which involves the boarders standing on a surfboard and using a paddle to push themselves along. Other more traditional sports on offer included volleyball and tennis, as well as kite flying and Frisbee.

For those not feeling as active, the city’s first burger festival was held that day, offering cheap, tasty and healthier burger alternatives than usually found in the city.

Meanwhile, on the other side of St. Petersburg’s 300th Anniversary Park, a military program took place. Soldiers from different military groups demonstrated their skills while visitors learned about historical and contemporary weapons as well as some combat skills.

Free excursions of the city were also on offer on June 12, as well as historical search quests, concerts and an orchestra performance on Palace Square.

“Russia Day is an important celebration for every Russian, both for veterans and for the younger generation,” said temporary acting governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, who attended the military event.

Russia Day was established on June 12, 1990, when the country adopted the sovereignty declaration that became the beginning of constitutional reforms. It was also one of the first steps to the official dissolution of the Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. June 12 became a public holiday in 1992 and got its current name in 1998. This year, Russians had four days off for the holiday, from June 12 to 15.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

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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