Moscow will celebrate its first City Day under new Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Sunday, with more than 700 events spread all over the city.
Despite the new city leader, planes will, as they did under his predecessor, clear the sky of clouds to ensure a rain-free weekend.
Official celebrations will take place on Red Square for the first time, with 6,500 spectators expected for a show that will include more than 2,500 artists.
Unless you have an invite, don’t expect to walk into that event. But entry is open to all at Moscow State University with a grand light and video show — Alfa-Show 4D — that will be projected onto the university building at 10 p.m. The event marks 20 years of Alfa Bank.
Australian David Atkins, who masterminded the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Games last year, has been working on the event with his team for the last six months.
“We will build real elements into the projection like fire and fireworks, which will create our fourth dimension,” Atkins said in a telephone interview.
The show will be projected onto 25,500-meter surface, a world record, and also feature the world’s most famous urban free climber, Frenchman Alain Robert, who has climbed the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building and who will scale the university during the event.
Many roads in the city center will be closed off as usual for Sunday’s events, such as the waiters race starting from the Hotel Metropol, which sees participants run while holding a full tray.
As part of the day, a big screen will be set up on Tverskaya Ulitsa and the crew of the International Space Station will congratulate the crowds.
All of the Boulevard Ring will have various art-based shows from 2 to 10 p.m. Manezh Square will have free art lessons from 2:30 to 6 p.m., with a collective portrait of Moscow made at the end.
Kamergersky Pereulok will have a stage set up with performers singing hits from stage musicals starting at 5 p.m. The All-Russia Exhibition Center will host a street art and extreme sports festival from 5 to 10 p.m.
Celebrations have been restricted to one day this year because Saturday is the anniversary of the Beslan school hostage crisis.