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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 citys recent school graduates prepare to celebrate the Aliye Parusa, or Scarlet Sails, holiday.

Aliye Parusa is the largest celebration of the citys 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 citys 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 citys 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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



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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