Moscow’s government is spending more than half a billion rubles (almost $9 million) on celebrations for “City Day,” which takes place this weekend, Sept. 10–11, when Moscow marks its 869th birthday.
Officials have not announced the total costs for staging this year’s City Day, but the news agency RBC says public procurement contracts related to the holiday total to more than 580 million rubles. Last year, RBC estimates that Moscow spent 80 million rubles ($1.2 million) less. In 2014, RBC says, the city spent just 250 million rubles on the city’s birthday.
This weekend, Moscow will erect 212 sites to host more than 1,000 events. People at home can tune into 30 different live video feeds, and officials will operate 200 free WiFi spots around the city. On Saturday, there will be a massive fireworks show, and Sunday will feature Moscow’s first-ever parade of the heavy equipment the city uses for public safety, emergency rescue, and street cleaning.
This week’s festivities for City Day will be Moscow’s most expensive event all year. For comparison, the city spent less than half as much on massive Victory Day celebrations in May.