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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. Petersburgs 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 citys 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. Petersburgs 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 GeorgyPoltavchenko, 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

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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