The two-day festive programme for Moscow’s 868th anniversary comprises more than 500 events, including 300 concerts and 80 workshops. Excursions will take place along 247 routes. The celebrations will be held on 5 and 6 September in all twelve administrative areas and 100 city parks, with 25 sites under city jurisdiction, 31 sites under the authority of administrative areas and 196 sites of district standing. Over ten million visitors are expected, says Culture Department head Alexander Kibovsky.
“We took public expectations into account as we planned the celebration, with an opinion poll on the Active Citizen website that attracted over 200,000 users.” Of these, 28 percent voted for free sightseeing tours, 25 percent for children’s entertainment and 19 percent for classical music concerts, while 18 percent anticipated the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival, with its parading bands.
The motto of this year’s City Day, “Moscow Triumphant”, is a reference to the 70th anniversary of Victory and the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the title of Hero City to Moscow. Festival pageantry will re-create episodes of military valour, and models of triumphal arcs built in Moscow from the era of Peter the Great to Soviet times will appear in the streets.
A new form of celebration will be launched this year, with Muscovites congratulating each other. “Moscow actors, cultural centre employees, art school teachers, philanthropists and businesspeople will make the public a gift of concerts and workshops. The Culture Department and other municipal authorities have taken up managerial duties. All this makes this year’s City Day a true public event with a programme determined by the people in the street,” Mr Kibovsky said.
Tsvetnoi Boulevard and VDNKh will host children’s entertainment. Open-air workshops, concerts and charity gatherings will be held around the Yuri Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoi Boulevard, while VDNKh will provide more than 20 sites for pageants, workshops and other events.
The traditional City Day fireworks display will be held on the night of 5 September, starting at 10.30 pm. “We have evenly distributed the fireworks among 12 hilltop sites and 19 park sites, so that a million or more people can enjoy the dazzling sight.” A giant imitation cake made of balloons carrying greetings from Muscovites will float up into the air during the show.
“The Greet Moscow citywide campaign includes free balloon distribution. Greeting cards will be exchanged for balloons on special sites to be flown on the balloon cake on Vorobyevy Gory as the fireworks show starts,” said Ivan Shubin, head of the Department of Media and Advertising.
A detailed City Day celebration schedule is available at the website ялюблюмоскву.рф, where you can book a free excursion starting 27 August.
“We cannot take all applicants on a tour: 6,000 is the maximum. But then, it’s our goal to raise public interest in particular routes so that everyone who wants to will go sightseeing on his or her own,” Mr Kibovsky said.