Festive extravaganza with capital scope

City Day in Minsk marked by wealth of couples marrying, trips on English-audio tour bus, and display of capital chronicles in 3D-format on walls of National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre
By Yuri Butrimovich

Last Saturday, Minsk celebrated its 946th anniversary of first mention in the Tale of Bygone Years. Celebrations began in the morning, on 14th September, with a crowd gathering by 10am at the Sports Palace. Meanwhile, the Svisloch River hosted competitions in kayaking and canoeing. Additionally, the ‘Minsk Citizens of the Year’ was announced.

Those interested in history could visit reconstructions on Pobediteley Avenue, where bygone Minsk was recreated by knights and nobles from various times past.

At noon, music filled the Upper Town, with guests entertained through until the evening. The new English-audio guide city tour bus was busy and Belarusian writers gathered for the My City, I Devote to You book exhibition, signing copies of their latest editions. The Upper Town concert hall hosted the wedding of nine couples: one from each of Minsk’s districts.

Karl Marx Street was closed to traffic, allowing performances by street theatres. Sadly, it was the last Saturday of 2013 on which the street will be used in this way but the summer arrangement will be revived next year.

The grand holiday of national creativity, Loshitsa Fest, and City of Masters fair, took place at Loshitsa estate and park complex, while other districts across the capital joined in organising celebratory events. Minsk’s museums prepared an eventful programme, featuring not only new exhibitions but ticket discounts.

The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre building displayed a 3D-installation telling of Minsk’s historical milestones at 9.30pm, causing a real stir and making a worthy finale to the Belarusian capital’s birthday celebrations.
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