Moscow turns 872
On September 7-8, the Russian capital celebrated City Day. Over 7.4 million people attended the holiday events. The theme was the anniversary of VDNKh, which turned 80 this year. President Vladimir Putin and Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin took part in the opening ceremony held at VDNKh.
The President of Russia wished city residents and guests a happy holiday and pointed out that Moscow plays a key role in shaping the country’s history. “Today, Moscow is more than a modern metropolis. It’s also Russia’s heritage – a unique reflection of all its eras, of the generous and vast Russian soul,” he said, “It’s a city that has earned the respect of our country’s citizens with its beauty and accomplishments. We see how the capital has transformed over the past few years – it’s an obvious fact. So much has been done to create a comfortable business environment, good social, transport, and digital infrastructure, and improvements to public spaces.”
According to Vladimir Putin, the work that has been done to revive the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VDNKh), which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, is particularly noteworthy. “A major reconstruction project is underway here: we can see how the prominent, easily recognizable image of VDNKh has re-emerged, how the exhibition’s architecture and art masterpieces have been restored diligently and with historical accuracy,” the President of Russia said, “VDNKh is starting to serve its original purpose, becoming a major exposition, museum, cultural, educational, and public space. It reaffirms Moscow’s enduring purpose as a creative and unifying center.”
Sergey Sobyanin also wished Muscovites a happy City Day, thanking Vladimir Putin, the Russian government, and the Parliament for giving the capital a lot of attention. According to the mayor, the decision to transfer VDNKh back to this city, which was made a few years ago, played a key role in the capital’s development. “Today, we can safely say that we’ve fulfilled your assignment to revive VDNKh. And today, on VDNKh’s 80th anniversary, we can say that this unique complex has been reborn, that it has become the most popular spot among the city’s guests and residents alike,” Sergey Sobyanin said.
The Mayor of Moscow noted that, in spite of these accomplishments, the capital plans to continue development work. “Moscow has to become a global leader among cities in the sphere of public transportation by doubling the size of the metro, building the Large Circle Line, creating the Moscow Central Diameters, and establishing convenient above-ground transportation,” Sergey Sobyanin added, “We have to create the best school system in the world, to develop all skills taught in school and the Moscow Electronic School, and to launch career prep classes in all schools.”
Another important area of development is the city’s healthcare system. “Of course, we have to make sure that Moscow is an Urban Health leader, that the healthcare system is high quality and that people have options to stay active,” the Mayor of Moscow said. According to Sergey Sobyanin, the results of all this work will be in high demand among millions of the city’s residents.
“And of course, you need leadership to do a lot more than to simply call themselves leaders. Leadership is needed so that the two million children living in Moscow get a quality education and a chance to succeed in life. So that the three and a half million senior citizens have a reliable social safety net. So that every Moscow resident can have a decent job with a decent salary. And we need it so that Moscow remains the driver of modern economic growth,” Sergey Sobyanin said.
During the first day of the holiday, 1.2 million guests visited the parks in Moscow and over half a million people came to VDNKh. The next day, there were 2.2 million people in parks and another half a million at VDNKh. Over 200,000 people attended the “Nashi v Gorode” rock festival over the weekend, and the “Flower Jam” landscape design festival attracted over 800,000 guests. Over 900,000 Muscovites visited holiday venues near their homes.
Almost 3 million people celebrated Moscow’s 872nd birthday on Tverskaya. The street hosted four holiday platforms dedicated to VDNKh’s symbols and history. Guests visited hundreds of workshops, gym classes, tours, lectures, plays, and concerts. There were also productions by participants of the “Golden Mask” special programs, as well as plays organized by Moscow’s theatres.
The most popular athletic classes were rock climbing, ziplining, standup paddle boarding, and master classes on pump tracks and skate parks. The sports, entertainment, and music venues at Luzhniki were visited by 160,000 people. Over 40 athletic fields, 20 active leisure areas, and dozens of food courts were open here on City Day. There were also talk shows with famous athletes and a big concert. Russia’s national figure skating team held a pre-season show as well.
The holiday ended with a fireworks show. There were over 70,000 shots fired from 32 venues throughout the city.
CITY DAY FACTS:
● 200 tours, 96 concerts and plays, 600 workshops, and over 150 free events across 80 museums were held on City Day
● 1,500 venues operated throughout the city
● over 4 million people celebrated City Day on the first day, September 7
● 313 workshops, 100 open gym classes, 96 tours, 24 lectures, and 48 plays and concerts were held on Tverskaya and nearby streets
● Guests visited 260 productions, 80 of which were organized by participants of the special “Golden Mask” program
● Tverskaya hosted 4 holiday platforms with a total area of over 40,000 square meters and a combined length of 1.5 kilometers
● 250+ holiday programs were organized for Muscovites across all city districts
● A new highline world record was set during City Day. Germany’s Friede Kuhne walked across a slackline between the OKO and Neva Towers in Moscow City, traversing 245 meters at a height of 350 meters on his first attempt – almost 100 meters higher than the previous record. France’s Nathan Paulin, Canada’s Mia Noblet, and Russia’s Maksim Kagin, Alexander Gribanov, Gennady Skripko, and Vladimir Murzaev joined Kuhne in setting the new world record. The new achievement will be entered into the Guinness World Records. A Guinness representative came to Moscow for the occasion, and presented the new record holders with diplomas during a special ceremony.