Icebreaker Festival wraps up in St Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, May 3. /TASS/. The Icebreaker Festival, which opened the summer tourist season in St. Petersburg, wrapped up on Monday, TASS correspondent reported from the site. About 30,000 guests attended the festival.
"About 30,000 local residents and guests have visited the Icebreaker Festival over three days," chairman of the city's tourism committee, Sergey Korneyev, told TASS.
Many visitors joined tours on board the icebreakers. "On the first day, 5,700 people went aboard the vessels, and on the second - 6,200, and today (on May 1) - about 10,000," the organizer's representative Valery Vetkin told TASS.
Visitors strolled along the embankment, looking with great interest at the vessels, and joined long queues to get onboard. Many people made pictures with the icebreakers on the background, carried kids up on shoulders so that they could see everything better.
During the festival, musicians performed popular songs, and visitors danced and sang.
Some, having seen the icebreakers, regretted they had not become sailors. "My girlfriend and I were at home, and we saw the festival was running, so we decided to have a look. Sure, I've seen different vessels in movies, have sailed boats, but here - they are so huge… I couldn't imagine they are so big. I'd love to go to the sea on one of them. I wish I had learned to be a sailor, but I am studying to be a philologist," a local resident, Alexander, told TASS.
Visitors had three days to feel the power of the Russian icebreaker fleet that serves the national interests in the Arctic. Icebreakers - the Vladivostok, the Kapitan Zarubin and the Kapitan Sorokin - remained moored by the Lieutenant Schmidt embankment from April 29. They were open to the public.
The icebreakers sailed to the embankment the night before the festival. The event's first day was the Sails Parade - a regatta, which began from the Blagoveshchensky (Annunciation) Bridge. Dozens vessels competed in the Neva River.
The second day offered a spectacular show, which has become the festival's key event - the Tugboat Waltz in the Neva.
Special events were organized on board the Krasin research vessel, which had served the Arctic Ocean studies. The vessel has become a museum. Visitors could see exhibitions telling the history and problems of the Arctic exploration, learned about the Northern Sea Route development. Writers invited to join autograph sessions, and guests practiced making sea knots and origami boats.
Very many people took the chance to walk along decks of all the icebreakers. "Our city is a maritime capital, but many visitors get onboard for the first time. As for kids, they get absolutely incredible emotions, and adults also can't resist being overwhelmed with the vessels. The Vladivostok is a special attraction - the icebreaker has called St. Petersburg for the first time this year, and the interest to it is great," Vetkin said.
When the last guests went ashore, the ships left the city, blowing loud goodbye horns.
In 2023, the Icebreaker Festival opened the tourist season in St. Petersburg for the 10th time. The first festival was held in 2014 - to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Russian icebreaker fleet. The event has developed into a great attraction, which many people from across the country cannot miss.
Over the festival's history, the organizers have tried different formats until they made the current program. "The idea has occurred to the chairman of cultural workers, and everything began from the tugs waltz, and later on it has grown to have such a large-scale concept. We have tried different options, used to involve more icebreakers, but three is the optimal number," Vetkin said.
This year, visitors could see and explore the icebreakers, each of which has own history. The Kapitan Zarubin has more than once searched and rescued sailors in the Gulf of Finland. The biggest presented vessel - the Kapitan Sorokin - starred in Yuri Vizbor's Murmansk-198 movie, and the Vladivostok linear icebreaker has participated in coffee commercials and in the Christmas Trees-5 movie. Technical specifications of the ships that have survived the complicated winter navigation of 2022-2023 are also striking. They can crash thick ice fields and can work at air temperatures up to minus 50 degrees.
In 2023, St. Petersburg and the Baltic Fleet mark the 320th formation anniversary. The event, timed to this anniversary, was organized by the city's Committee for Tourism Development, the ports authority (Rosmorport) and the city's Maritime Council.