By Ivan Ivanovsky
A decade ago, the history of this holiday began. Recently, the capital again marked its City Day. It’s such a beautiful event. Although the summer has passed, the streets become crowded again with promenaders, while the trees yet retain their colour. Visitors to the Belarusian capital enviously admire its green avenues, which almost appear like groves, its shaded courtyards, and lush public gardens and parks.
Festivities took place not just in the city’s green areas but outside the National Library of Belarus for two days this year; those from the National Academy of Sciences invited guests to view the latest scientific innovations, while over 75 famous Minsk brands gathered together — a rare sight. Visitors were able to see powerful MAZ vehicles and tractors and Amkodor universal machinery, while trying Motovelo bicycles, mopeds and motorbikes. Meanwhile, young people spent eleven hours taking part in various contests and shows at Minsk-Arena — the country’s major sports ground.
Around 60 events — concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs, contests and sports competitions — were enjoyed by Minsk residents and guests, with the celebrations launched at Minsk — Hero-City Monument in Pobediteley Avenue, where flowers were laid in remembrance.
Of course, musical entertainment was everywhere. Several concert grounds were set up in Pobedy Park, on the bank of Lake Komsomolskoe, with folk groups playing. The Holiday of Street Music was organised in the Lower Town, near the Troitsky Suburbs, while the ‘Minsker of the Year’ awards were solemnly bestowed at the Musical Theatre in the evening, followed by the premiere of Blue Cameo. The State Academic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Alexander Anisimov, opened its new season at the Philharmonic Society, with admirers of classical music listening to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony #2.
City Day saw some new projects, such as Minsk’s Art Parlour exhibition, which invited people to the public garden near the Town Hall to gain acquaintance with writers and illustrators. Residents were invited to take books home for the ‘Become a Reader!’ book exchange campaign, asked to later return them to the nearest library. The sweet Holiday of Honey was also in evidence, as were craftsmen, each displaying their talents. The wonderful event concluded with a stunning musical firework display over Lake Komsomolskoe.