In all, over 400 events will be organised in Moscow to celebrate the New Year’s Eve and Christmas. The programme features theatre productions and performances, concerts and music festivals, and fairs and exhibition projects, which are expected to attract more than 10 million visitors.
“People will have the opportunity to see in the New Year at the central sites of the Journey to Christmas Festival as its fairs will be open until 3 am at VDNKh, 21 culture and leisure parks and 11 venues in other administrative areas,” Sergei Sobyanin said at a meeting of the Moscow Government Presidium.
He said the New Year fireworks would start at 1 am from 30 sites to make them visible from anywhere in the city.
For the first time, the metro and the Moscow Central Ring will run throughout the night to give Muscovites the opportunity to be more mobile and do more on New Year’s night.
“I want both an exciting cultural programme and security to be provided for the New Year events,” the Moscow Mayor said.
Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Culture Alexander Kibovsky gave more details about how the festivities would be organised.
“New Year’s Eve and Christmas are the favourite and most visited events for Moscow residents and tourists,” he said. “Every year, we see an increasing number of tourists coming from other countries to take part in the season’s festivities in our city, which have gained popularity in the international tourist calendar.”
This year, a wide variety of events will take place in all administrative areas of the capital. The festivities kicked off with the Journey to Christmas Festival that opened on 16 December.
Street theatres and cooking shows
The fourth Journey to Christmas Festival is being held at 42 Moscow sites on 16 December-15 January. A total of 200 retail chalets, 70 restaurants and 40 master class chalets have been set up for the event. The festival involves representatives from 40 Russian regions and 15 foreign countries. The programme includes street theatre performances, cooking shows, children’s master classes, training sessions from Olympic figure skating champions, and charity events of the I Am (Ya Est) and Old Age Joys foundations.
Mr Kibovsky said the festival is to become the pinnacle of the New Year celebrations in Moscow, the highlight of entertainment and positive emotions.
New Year on an ice-skating rink
VDNKh will host over 40 holiday events during the New Year period. “Smart City” will offer a daily programme with quests, robot technology and master classes in 3D modelling of Christmas decorations for all ages. The central alleyway near Pavilion 1 will feature the New Year and Christmas fairs. Ice-skating fans will be able to spend New Year’s night on the nation’s main skating rink.
Father Frost’s Moscow residence in Volgogradsky Prospekt will offer folk celebrations devoted to the New Year and Christmas as well as theatrical and tour programmes, Father Frost’s birthday party, children’s discos and colourful neon shows (on 1-7 January). Preliminary estimates suggest these events will attract over 60,000 people.
The head of the Department of Culture said festivities in the parks and various administrative areas would begin on 31 December with children’s programme at 3 pm to be followed by numerous concerts. At midnight, the Moscow Mayor’s address and the Russian President’s congratulatory message will be broadcast at all venues followed by fireworks at 1 am.
New Year children’s show for free
The Mayor’s New Year show in Gostiny Dvor and the Kremlin show will be attended by 150 percent more young Muscovites than last year. Mr Kibovsky said Gostiny Dvor was the choice of the Moscow people as this place is convenient in terms of logistics and transport and can accommodate more guests.
Priority free tickets were given to benefit recipients (orphans, children from big and underprivileged families) and talented children (intellectual Olympiad and competition winners). Hence, 42,000 children will be able to attend the Mayor’s show and 30,000 will go to the Kremlin performance.
Alternatively, over 250 New Year shows for children will be organised all across Moscow during the school holidays, expected to be seen by 1 million people.
New Year events, including children’s shows, will also be held in 205 city libraries. During the school holidays of 2-8 January, 87 museums and exhibition galleries will be free to visit. Seven cinemas will run New Year films and cartoons, performances and master classes.
“We expect to draw around 10 million people with our New Year events,” the Moscow Minister said.
Moscow’s New Year programme is available at www.mos.ru.
Security at the events will be provided by 15,000 policemen, Russian guards, emergency service officers and militias.
“The municipal services will take all the necessary measures to ensure that the New Year holidays are fun, exciting and eventful but also comfortable and safe for people,” Mr Kibovsky said.