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The city is blooming

at 31/07/2008 18:37

The Moscow City Festival of Flower Beds and Landscape Architecture opened on July 26th in the 50 Years of October Park (Park imeni 50-letia Oktyabrya in the west of Moscow). This festival has become a Moscow tradition: this year it is held for the sixth time. However, the theme of the festival is always different. Since 2008 is the Year of the Family in Russia, the flower festival's motto is "Mommy, daddy and me - a blooming family."

According to Peter Biryukov, first deputy mayor of Moscow, over 130 companies from Moscow, Moscow's suburbs, Tver, Vladikavkaz and even England are taking part in this year's festival. Biryukov accompanied Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov to the opening of the festival and spoke about the general theme and ideas behind the event. "There are 650 hectares of various flower arrangements all over Moscow. All the flower compositions are united by the family theme," he said.

The entire exposition at the park, located at metro Prospekt Ver­nadskogo, is arranged according to this theme, with play parks and family zones equipped for games, sports and relaxation. The main flower display is located in the park's center - four giant hands, the city's symbol of the Year of the Family. The heart of the "Large Family" display is a wooden table with four differently carved chairs that symbolize the diversity and uniqueness of each member of a family. The other displays are also named for the theme: "First Steps" and "The Garden of Health."

In the spirit of unity and friendship, all city districts have contributed to the festival. Denis Dyadov, general contractor in charge of the festival's arrangements, told the press: "Each prefecture has created a flower bed. I think it's marvelous."

There is another large venue for the festival - Kuzminki Park. This lavish country estate turned public park has seen its share of flower festivals dedicated to different events, and this year is no exception. According to Vladimir Zotov, prefect of the southeast administrative district of Moscow, 70 flower ar­rangements spread across the area of 8,500 square meters illustrate the welcoming attitude of Muscovites toward such issues as the family and family values.

The organizers of the Kuzminki festival have arranged various events and activities that go beyond flower displays. The festival opened with a theatrical performance headlined by the Goddess of Flora and a group of actors dressed as the 12 months of the year. That day, a new Goddess of Flora was chosen, and the title changed hands. Additio­nally, couples who celebrate their golden wedding anniversaries this year received presents from the festival's organizers.

The other events of the day included a boomerang-throwing competition for the title of "The Steadiest Family," an "Among Family" tea ceremony held in the ecological and educational center located in Kuzminki Park, the opening of the children's garden projects exposition "Flower Town," and a photo exhibition.

A recurring theme of the Year of the Family, a love bench, was also unveiled at the opening. It is cleverly positioned next to the bath house, which many of the park's visitors consider to be the most romantic spot at Kuzminki.

The flower festival, apart from being a feast for the eyes and a colorful annual phenomenon in the city's cultural life, is also a competition among the flower designers who create the various lavish displays. The results of the competition will be an­nounced in September, before Moscow's City Day. The winners in the 13 categories will receive diplomas and prize cups.

So take note that every weekend through the end of summer, Mos­cow parks welcome families, friends and city guests to take part in the fun and games, as well as to enjoy the blooming, beautiful floral displays. 

By Katya Vinogradova

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