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Island Set to Reopen to Visitors

ST. PETERSBURG — New Holland Island, which opened to the public for the first time last summer, kicks off its new summer season this weekend.

New Holland is undergoing a seven-year redevelopment project that will turn the historic island in St. Petersburg into a multifunctional cultural center.

Starting Saturday, visitors can relax on the grass and in deck chairs, browse a flea market and warm up by a fire pit. There will also be a parkour zone and bike ramp, a food market and a community garden with fresh food for sale by LavkaLavka.

The island's first art gallery will open this year with an exhibition by Alexei Kiselyov titled "Nothing Special." Visitors will also have the chance to see a project by St. Petersburg-based artist Nastya Bukina, who has covered the fence around the island with text and illustrations from her fairy tale.

On June 16 and 17, New Holland will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission to the island, as well as to all its events, is free.

On Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m., New Holland will offer workshops for children at the Family Center. One workshop, titled "Christopher Columbus, Discoverer of America," includes a practical art class in which participants will learn about Native American homes and then build their own.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the island will host a Kind House charity event that will see children from a Pavlovsk children's home paint the houses in bright colors together with St. Petersburg artists to create a cardboard village. Everyone is invited to take part in the event and buy a house painted by an artist or other handicrafts made by the children. All proceeds will go to support projects of the Shag Navstrechu charity organization.

At 8 p.m. visitors will be able to enjoy performances by bands Motorama and Elektra Monsterz.

On Sunday, New Holland will offer another workshop for children called "Vasco da Gama and the discovery of India," in which participants will learn about Indian mythology and make toy figurines of the many-armed god Shiva. The workshop will continue with a hands-on class during which children will learn how to extract natural dyes from plants and then tie-dye T-shirts.

The event will be followed by a table tennis tournament.

All through the weekend and upcoming weekends, a gourmet market will be set up on the island, and a selection of the city's restaurants will give guests the chance to sample food.

Visitors can also check out the antique flea market, where, in addition to vintage couture, shoppers will have their pick of new collections from St. Petersburg and Moscow designers.

During the summer, New Holland will be open from Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and from Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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