Records and festivals: Winter season ends at VDNKh

Records and festivals: Winter season ends at VDNKh
Some 10,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve at the VDNKh skating rink, and the number of visitors on 3 January reached 24,500.

The winter season has ended at VDNKh, where 55 themed festivals have been held during the past 94 days.

Some 10,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve at the VDNKh skating rink, and the number of visitors on 3 January reached 24,500, record-high attendance for the rink. Over the past three months, 38 entertainment programmes and 17 sports festivals have been held at the rink, including Orthodox Christmas, Student Day, Valentine’s Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day (23 February) and the Maslenitsa festival (Pancake Week).

The #FindLoveAtVDNKh project was held at the exhibition this winter: during the three winter months, skating rink visitors took photographs and posted them on social media with the hash tags #FindLoveAtVDNKh or #LoveAtVDNKh. The project culminated on 14 February, when couples who pre-registered on the VDNKh website received free tickets to the skating rink. Russian figure skater Irina Slutskaya, a two-time Olympic medallist, held a workshop at the rink on Valentine’s Day.

In December, characters from popular films taught people dance moves on the rink. The project was part of the celebrations of the outgoing Year of Russian Cinema. On 28 January, hockey players Vyacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Yashin, along with actors Yegor Beroyev, Ksenia Alferova, Tatyana Arno, Andrei Merzlikin and Yekaterina Shpitsa, skated with children with disabilities and cancer during a charitable event.

This season’s innovations included morning exercises on Saturdays and Sundays, evening dance classes on Fridays and a weekend animation programme called Merry Friends for children.

A separate 900-square-metre rink was open for children aged three to eight. It had a separate entrance so that visitors with children did not have to queue for tickets alongside those who planned to skate on the main rink. A children’s figure skating school was supported by the Moscow Figure Skating Federation. An express entrance was open for those who came to the rink with their own skates.

Absolute record

On 8 December 2016, the World Record Academy declared the VDNKh rink the world’s largest mobile skating rink with artificial ice surface.

Since 2008, the title belonged to the skating rink on Mexico City’s main square due to a miscalculation. The World Record Academy’s commission believed its size to be 32,000 square metres, although it measures only 3,080 square metres (40 by 70 metres). After the mistake was revealed and admitted by the judges, the honorary title was conferred on the artificial ice rink at VDNKh.

Facts and figures

The skating rink’s total area with infrastructure facilities is 68,300 square metres; the skating area is 20,549 square metres. The rink measures 472 metres long. The ice thickness is 100-200 millimetres, and the area of lighting installed under the ice is 1,650 square metres. As many as 1,900 highly efficient nano-lamps and 98 video surveillance cameras were installed at the rink.

The rink’s construction involved 2,500 cubic metres of sand, over four million litres of water, 4,028 square metres of wooden platforms, 156 cubic metres of cooling agents, and much more.

This winter, visitors have drunk 60,000 glasses of alcohol-free mulled wine and 20,000 glasses of famous VDNKh hot chocolate and ate 15,000 hot dogs, 11,000 pancakes and 10,000 doughnuts.

Visitors rented 3,700 skates and 25 sets of protective gear. Thirty instructors held skating lessons for everyone.