Eight million people visited the Moscow Jam Festival on July 15-August 7, who purchased 80 tonnes of jam, 20 tonnes of honey and 100 tonnes of other sweets at 33 festival venues. The festival was the final event of the Moscow Seasons summer programme.
There was great demand for apricot jam as well as more sophisticated conserves – gooseberry jam with cherry leaves and walnuts, pine cone jam, rose petal jam, cucumber and mint jam, tomato jam, and herb jams. These exotic treats, however, were not as popular as good old strawberry, raspberry and cherry jams, which shared top demand with wildflower, lime and buckwheat honeys. Honey soufflé from the Voronezh Region aroused general interest and rivalled St Petersburg mixtures of honey with walnuts, bananas, apricots or chocolate, or vanilla-flavoured honey.
The festival brought together 300 manufacturers from 15 countries and 35 Russian regions, including the Krasnodar Territory, the Karachayevo-Circassian Republic, and the Tula, Vladimir and Yaroslavl regions. All together, they brought 200 jam and 50 honey varieties to the festival.
Magic Land, Magical England, Russia-Spain, Russia-Provence and Russia-Holland were the most successful venues.
The Fruit All-Round citywide quest gathered more than 25,000 contestants. Its winners received 13,270 jars of jam.
The 5,640 events on the cultural programme had 200,000 plus visitors, of which concerts and stage performances accounted for 85,000, 1,500 cooking workshops for 28,000, and 1,733 art workshops and short interactive lectures for 41,800.
The Stas Namin Music and Drama Theatre had the greatest returns with The Bremen Town Musicians musical, which it performed in Flower Square on the festival’s opening day.
International projects were prominent in the festival’s cultural programme. The Mexican embassy held jam tasting events and lectures at the Russia-Mexico venue. The Greek Cultural Centre offered a Greek Cooking Day at the Russia-Greece venue, and Beijing’s Central District prepared art workshops at the Russia-China venue.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark was performed at the Russia-Denmark venue every day for a summary audience of 3,000, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, equally popular, was an interactive production where spectators joined the actors on the stage.
Novopushkinsky Garden hosted the first Moscow Young Artists’ Exhibition showcasing 20 students and recent graduates from the city’s leading art schools.
Athletic events were also a great success, including a skateboarding class at the foot of the Timiryazev monument, with 6,000 kids taking part.
Orphans and children with limited abilities were active in entertainment events and athletic competitions.
The festival finished with a Voyage Round the World fancy dress parade along Tverskaya Street, where musicians, actors, cyclists and roller skaters walked all together and had a giant photo of the motley gathering made as a memento of the merry event.