The Days of Moscow are upon us and the city center is once again about to be taken over by music, sports, singing and dancing.
Each year, on the first weekend in September (this year, Sept. 1-2), Mayor Yury Luzhkov's city government sponsors this celebration, with festivities scheduled at various locations. About 30 events are lined up, with most taking place at the main locations: Luzhniki Sports Complex, VVTs, Poklonnaya Gora, Tverskaya Ploshchad, Teatralnaya Ploshchad, Pushkinskaya Ploshchad and Lubyanka Plosh-chad.
For safety reasons, automobile traffic will be restricted in the city center during the celebrations. However, river traffic will be extended: On Sept. 2, pleasure boats will sail up and down the Moscow River for an extra two hours until midnight.
Here's a rundown of some of the top events:
OPENING CEREMONIES: This event, hosted by the mayor and set for Tverskaya Ploshchad (Metro: Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya) on Sept. 1 from noon to 1 p.m., will be followed by live performances by several music groups until 6 p.m.
CAPITAL OF SPORTS 2001: A series of competitions in 30 different sports and games, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. at Luzhniky (24 Luzhnetskaya Nab.; Metro: Sportivnaya; Tel: 201-1164).
BACK TO SCHOOL: This year, the Days of Moscow will lead into the first day of the school year, so a "Hello School" party will be included Sept. 1. It will take place at Semyonovskaya Ploshchad (Metro: Semyonovskaya) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
MOSCOW 21ST CENTURY: A festival of music and fireworks targeted at teenagers on Sept. 1 on Moskvoretskaya Nab. beside the Rossiya Hotel (Metro: Kitai-Gorod) from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
FAMILY FESTIVALS: On both days, from noon to 10 p.m., Lubyanka Ploshchad (Metro: Lubyanka, Kuznetsky Most) will host festivities "for the whole family." Another family themed party is set for Poklonnaya Gora (7 Bratyev Fonchenko Ul.; Metro: Kutuzovskaya; Tel: 237-0720).
LIVE MUSIC: Popular bands and solo musicians will perform on Pushkinskaya Ploshchad, Tverskaya Ploshchad and Tverskoi Boulevard (Metro: Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya) on both days from noon to 10 p.m.
ADIDAS STREETBALL CHALLENGE: A festival of rap and alternative music on Ploshchad Revolyutsy (Metro: Teatralnaya, Ploshchad Revolyutsy; Tel: 107-5194) on Sept. 1-2 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The festival is usually a wild event, though, under pressure from the Moscow government, organizers have excluded the most outrageous hardcore groups from the program.
Nevertheless, Master Spensor will be there, as well as the top rappers from Moscow, Rostov, Kazan and Nizhny-Novgorod. Alternative music will be represented by the bands Mad God, Naive, Total, Multfilmy and others.
SINGING RUSSIA: Those who prefer quieter activities are invited to the Kolomenskoye Estate-Museum (39 Prospekt Andropova; Metro: Kolomenskoye; Tel: 112-8174) where a Rus Pevchaya (Singing Russia) festival will take place featuring a dozen folk-music ensembles from throughout Russia.
DELIGHT JAZZ: For jazz lovers, there will be a Vostorg (Delight) festival at Poklonnaya Gora (7 Bratyev Fonchenko Ul.; Metro: Kutuzovskaya; Tel: 237-0720) on Sept. 1-2 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will feature top jazz artists from Russia and beyond, including Igor Butman, Georgy Garanian, brothers Ivanov and Sergei Manukian and Irina Rodiles.
JAPANESE CULTURE: A festival of Japanese culture, also part of the Days of Moscow activities, is linked to the anniversary of the establishment of relations between Tokyo and Moscow. Traditional Japanese ikebana, origami, fans and aromas will be on display at the Novy Manezh exhibition hall (3 Georgiyevsky Per., Bldg. 3; Metro: Okhotny Ryad; Tel: 292-8292) on Sept. 1 from noon to 7 p.m. and on Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Japanese dances and martial arts will be featured in a program in the Maly Theater (1/6 Teatralnaya Ploshchad; Metro: Teatralnaya, Okhotny Ryad; Tel: 924-4083) on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. On Sept. 1 from noon to 1 p.m. and on Sept. 2 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Teatralnaya Ploshchad (Metro: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya) will be filled with the sounds of Japanese drumbeats and Japanese rock.
CARNIVAL: Sept. 2, From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VVTs) will host the Third Moscow Carnival Velikoye Molotilovo za Dobro (Great Fight for the Sake of Good), where epic hero Zamakh Bogatyr Moskovsky will try to eliminate all of the world's evil in one day. In addition to music groups from 15 Russian cities, the carnival will include troupes from Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Japan and Finland who will familiarize Muscovites with the carnival shows of European, Latin American and Middle and Far Eastern countries.
TRANSPORT EXHIBIT: The area around the Lomakov Museum of Old Cars and Motorcycles (58 Krasnodarskaya Ul.; Metro: Lyublino; Tel: 356-7995) will be made into a parade arena showing off examples of vehicles before 1969.
ALL-FAMILY PARTY: Yekaterininsky Park (2 Suvorovskaya Ploshchad; Metro: Prospekt Mira; Tel: 281-5563) will host another "all-family party" Sept. 2 from noon to 10 p.m. with animal shows (courtesy of the Durov Animal Theater) and the Strana Chyudes (World of Miracles) musical for children and retro dances for their parents and grandparents. A gala concert of Russian pop stars, including Ivanushki International, Strelki and many other bands and solo performers, will start at 6 p.m. on a floating stage on the park's lake.
MUSICAL SHOW: A program Sept. 2 sponsored by www.moskva_zavtra.ru will start at Luzhniki Sports Palace at 7 p.m. (24 Luzhnetskaya Nab.; Metro: Sportivnaya; Tel: 201-1164), featuring the bands Mikhei and Jumangi, Premyer-Minister, Konets Filma, DJ Groove and the winner of MTV Video Music Awards and Russian rap star Kirill Tolmatsky (stage name Detzl).
CLASSICAL, CHURCH MUSIC: A concert will be held Sept. 2 at Christ the Savior Cathedral (15 Volkhonka Ul.; Metro: Kropotkinskaya; Tel: 202-8024, ext. 334) at 7 p.m.