This year Muscovites are welcome to celebrate their home’s 869th anniversary at over 200 venues all over Moscow. A good place for a stroll will be Tverskaya Street, with its new large sidewalks, as well as other downtown streets that have recently undergone large facelifts and renovation. City Day venues will open for the first time on Novy Arbat Street. Over a thousand events are scheduled citywide, including 300 concerts and musical festivals, and over 100 workshops.
This year’s celebrations will be themed around the cinema, and the number 869, made of five blue-red rings, will be the day’s logo. In a break from tradition, the festivities will take place on the second weekend of September.
Strolling along renovated streets
City holiday planners are focusing on the city’s central streets. Benches with special lighting forming the letters that spell ‘Moscow’ will be installed at Novy Arbat and Tverskaya streets and on the square opposite the Russian State Library on Vozdvizhenka Street. The streets were renovated under the My Street programme. Novy Arbat’s sidewalk and park area was widened by 11 metres, and new benches and street lamps were installed. This will be a new venue for Moscow city festivals.
Another upgraded street, Tverskaya, will also see greater popularity as people move from one of 10 City Day venues to the next. The sidewalks on Tverskaya were also widened, utility lines were relocated underground, and 80 LED street lamps were installed. The street itself was paved with new asphalt surfaced in one continuous layer to make the road look better and prolong its life. The entire street will be pedestrian-only street on City Day.
Moscow and decorations
The 869 figure made of blue-red rings and the Russian flag colours are the approved symbol of City Day.
The five rings in the logo symbolise Moscow’s main circular roads and railways, including the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD), the Third Ring Road, the Garden Ring, the Moscow Central Ring (new circular commuter railway), and the Moscow Metro’s Circle Line.
The city has new temporary 14-metre arches, faithful copies of those that were built for the first postwar fair in 1947. Five of the arches, that feature colour and lightning schemes, and colour bas-reliefs, have been put up on Pushkinskaya and Tverskaya streets, Manezhnaya and Revolyutsii squares, and Novopushkinsky public garden.
In addition to pedestrian streets, other areas where visitors can expect celebrations including parks, squares, railway station squares, and the main city entrances will be embellished and decorated. Large figures with brightly lit letters reading ‘Happy Birthday Moscow’ will be placed at the city entrances on 20 major radial motorways. One figure is a heart made of vertical read, blue and white elements.
The main celebrations are dedicated to Russian films because 2016 is the Year of Russian Cinema. City Day planners selected those films that were shot either in or about Moscow.
Tverskaya Street will host the atmospheres of such Soviet classics as Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future, They Met in Moscow, War and Peace, Circus, The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed, Walking the Streets of Moscow, The Pokrovsky Gate, Guest from the Future, Night Watch, and Hipsters. All the ten venues on Tverskaya Street will have cinema related themes.
Okhotny Ryad Street will be a place for anyone to try out their acting skills. The project Shooting a Film will be linked with the Hipsters venue on Tverskaya Street. Those interested can make a music and dance video in the spirit of the film, and see it on screens.
The Moscow Cinema Festival, which will take place in Moscow from 9 to 18 September, is an opportunity to dive deep into the atmosphere of favourite Russian films. The festival will feature 33 venues all over the city, each devoted to popular films, such as Walking the Streets of Moscow, Carnival Night, The Diamond Arm, Mimino, Volga-Volga, and others. The I Love Moscow venue on Novy Arbat will offer an opportunity for visitors to shoot their own short films, try their hand at a panorama take, and see stunt performances.
Moscow and entertainment
Over 200 free guided tours in the city center and around administrative areas will be offered on City Day, with special programmes for those interested in cinema history. Animals feeding, including harbour and fur seals, raccoons, mongooses, Arctic foxes, penguins, and porcupines, will be available at the Moscow Zoo. Admission is free at 90 museums, including the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, the Darwin Museum and the Multimedia Art Museum.