A citywide clean-up effort on 29 April brought together 1.5 million people.
“Moscow has entered the May bank holiday spree, and the first part was energetic and eventful. The city-wide clean-up effort served to kick off festivities and brought together 1.5 million participants,” Head of the Moscow Department of Culture Alexander Kibovsky said during a meeting of the Moscow Government Presidium.
All participants were provided with necessary tools including rakes, brooms, rubbish bags, brushes, shovels, paintbrushes, secateurs and overalls.
“Parks held clean-ups that were not boring at all and turned into real festivals,” Alexander Kibovsky said.
The clean-up coincided with 180 fun events such as concerts, sports and fitness workouts, environmental quests, workshops for children, and lectures on environmental safety and gardening. Parks had food areas serving free drinks.
In addition to this, the fountain season was launched officially on 29 April. “The day culminated in the launch ceremony of 594 city fountains,” Kibovsky said.
Trade union march
The traditional trade union march took place on 1 May on Red Square. The march was headed by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions Mikhail Shmakov and Chairman of the Moscow Trade Union Federation Mikhail Antontsev.
The event had “For Decent Work, Wage and Life” as its slogan. An estimated 130,000 people took part in the procession, and millions of viewers watched it on television.
Opening of summer season
The summer season opening on 1 May was marked by 320 events held at Moscow parks which included 25 concerts, 14 stage performances, 79 workshops, 17 lectures, 45 events for children, and 10 quests.
In particular, Gorky Park themed the event around the Happiness in the Park motto. Free longboard training sessions, a runners’ club jog, physics and chemistry experiments under the guidance of researchers from the Polytechnic Museum was what awaited visitors on that day. A skate park opened to host competitions and a concert. The Pioner summer cinema held a jazz vocal class, a stand-up show of the Open Mic project, and a freefilms.
The Muzeon Art Park featured an experimental dance festival and open workshops. Sokolniki celebrated the summer season with its Pervomai Sound international music festival, headlined by Brazzaville.
The Hermitage Garden was the scene of a poetic performance by Moscow actors including Yelena Makhova, Natalia Gorbas, Artyom Tsukanov and Igor Ivanov. There were also lectures by environmentalists and designers, dance workshops and yoga and qigong sessions.
The Peace.Labour.Avant-garde event, themed around the 1920s, was held at the Bauman Garden. Visitors could attend the From Earth. Supremacist Peasants performance by Liquid Theatre based on works by Kazimir Malevich. There were poetic readings and musical performances as well.
The Pobedy Park on Poklonnaya Hill featured a youth festival with a concert and an extreme sports display. Izmailovsky Park welcomed summer with a drum and stilt-walking procession, while the Perovsky Park dedicated the day to jazz and dance.
A total of 1.2 million people attended the park events on 1 May.
May Bank Holidays
The Moscow programme of festivities will run to 10 May. There will be around 300 big city-wide events including concerts, memorials, exhibits, and sports competitions and displays. These are:
- 29 April-5 May: International Sports Games for Children from Heroic Cities (Moskvich Stadium, 46/15 Volgogradsky Prospekt);
- 5 May: Concert for WWII veterans at Moscow Government House at 36/9, Novy Arbat Street;
- 6 May: Moscow - City for Motorcyclists (a ride from Akademika Sakharova Prospekt to Worker and the Kolkhoz Woman monument; start 11 am);
- 6 May: 10th St George Games (Cheremushki Stadium, 30, Novoyasenevsky Prospekt; start 1 am);
- 6 May: cadet student parade, The Generation Link Will Not Break on Poklonnaya Hill (Noon - 2 pm);
- 7-9 May: Victory Cup. The Silver Boat rowing competition on the Rowing Canal.
The At Victory Headquarters exhibition opens on 4 May, putting on display hundreds of unique documents about WWII events, some of which were signed by the country’s contemporary leaders.
Alexander Kibovsky also recalled that the Battle of Moscow. The First Victory exhibition ends on 9 May. “It is an unprecedented display which features over 3,000 spectacular, unique objects and documents from the time of this first major victory. There is, by the way, Russia’s first Oscar that was awarded to the film ‘Moscow Strikes Back’ in 1942,” he said.