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Alcohol Sales Banned Citywide on June 20 for School Holiday

Published: June 19, 2014 (Issue # 1816)



  • The official Aliye Parusa program ends with a fireworks display over the Neva River.
    Photo: VK.com

Vice Governor of St. Petersburg Vasily Kichedzhi announced June 18 that alcohol sales will be banned throughout the city for 24 hours staring the morning of June 20, as the city’s recent school graduates prepare to celebrate the Aliye Parusa, or Scarlet Sails, holiday.

Aliye Parusa is the largest celebration of the city’s White Nights Festival and dates back to 1968. Based on a popular children's book from 1922 by Alexander Grin, the holiday was banned by the city government from 1979 to 2005, when it was reinstated as an official city holiday. St. Petersburg is the only Russian city to celebrate graduation day on such a large scale.

Traditionally, the holiday sees tens of thousands of high-school graduates dressed to the nines descend on the city center for an all-night party on Palace Square and the surrounding areas. Over the years, the under-age drinking associated with Aliye Parusa has come in for regular criticism from the media and parents.

Speaking about the alcohol ban, Kichedzhi said, "those who want to find alcohol probably will, but we are taking strict precautions to make it much more difficult.” The vice governor also said that there was no legal basis for the ban but rather that it is the result of conversations with business owners, who Kichedzhi said were amenable.

The municipal government is reported to be contributing 17 million rubles ($493,841) toward the event, which will feature concerts, a water show and fireworks. The chairman of the city’s mass-media committee Alexander Lobkov said that the city will spend 6.6 million rubles ($191,713) on decorations and 15.88 million rubles ($458,982) on entertainment for the event. Rossiya bank will make up the shortfall.

Concerts to which only the Class of 2014 will be admitted will begin at 11 p.m. on Palace Square and the spit of Vasilevsky Island followed by a multimedia water show with fireworks on the Neva at 1:40 a.m. The concerts and water show will be broadcast live across the country.

According to Kichedzhi, 33,000 graduates are expected to attend the event, including about 200 graduates from Crimea who are expected to attend the event.

3,000 police officers will be deployed in the city center for the event and 30 police boats will patrol the waters to provide security for the event. Traffic along Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main thoroughfare, will be restricted between the Moika River and Palace Square from 6.30 p.m. on the June 20 until the following morning. Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes. The entire St. Petersburg metro system will remain open throughout the night.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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