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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

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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