27th May was St Petersburg’s 308th Birthday. Friday night (although it wasn’t actually dark) there were fireworks over the Neva. They were quite good but the main thing was the atmosphere, so many people went to see them and everyone had champagne (or beer) and were cheering. There were militsia absolutely everywhere, presumably to stop people doing illegal things such as drinking on the streets or trespassing, but their efforts were poor/non-exsistent and everyone was drunk and trying to swim in the river.
Saturday the celebrations continued. In the morning there was a parade along Nevskii Prospect, but it took me about an hour to find said parade and they had blocked all routes to Nevskii Prospect. Handy. First came about ten various marching bands from various military academies, the marines and universities.
The female soldiers of the Russian army. Yes in knee high pvc boots and mini skirts. The security guards at the hermitage wear similar boots with mini skirts and bomber jackets and I have seen many policewomen in stilletto’s. Clearly fashion does not exclude the country’s armed forces.
Next there were people in fancy dress, horses and carts and float, then the public were allowed to tag on the end and join in the parade.
It was pretty good! But pouring with rain and really hot. Nevskii prospect was closed all weekend which was amazing, there were little stages all along it with performances of music and dancing. By the metro there was an old drunk man playing the trumpet standing on a bin and he was surrounded by a huge crowd cheering- definately the faviorite of the festival!