This Weekend in St. Petersburg: September 8-9

Eat your weight in apples at a harvest festival, travel to Westeros, participate in reenactments of historical battles, and listen to music from all over the world: it’s another great weekend in St. Petersburg! 

Credit: vk.com/apple_midday

Fall harvest festivals

Let’s be honest, fall is a total pessimum. The start of school, pouring rain, lack of vitamin D, wet umbrellas shoving you in the face on the morning commute, and the reappearance of the necessary-yet-still-horrible puffer coats that make you look like a Michelin man. But hey, before we enter this great dismal swamp of a season, we still have a couple of weeks of indian summer ahead (or so we hope), with its crisp sunny mornings, multicolored leaves, and most importantly, delicious fruit and veg. And that deserves a party, right? Right! Two parties, in fact.

The 'Apple Midday' festival. Credit: vk.com/apple_midday
The 'Apple Midday' festival. Credit: vk.com/apple_midday

This Saturday September 8, a huge apple harvest celebration will be held in the St. Petersburg municipal town of Pushkin. The ‘Apple Midday’ festival will turn the already beautiful 120-hectare Alexandrovsky park into a bona fide apple heaven. It wouldn’t all be about food, though; the museum staff will be telling guests all about the dainty orangeries that once were dotted all over this park, whilst actors from the whimsical St. Petersburg theater ‘Mr Pejo’s Wandering Dolls’ will host carnival performances. And if that doesn’t entice you, the event will also feature giant soap bubbles and a magic apple tree that apparently makes your wishes come true; you’ll only need to write it on an apple-shaped postcard which you can make right then and there during a workshop. The event starts at, you guessed it, midday; tickets cost from 100 to 250 rub.

The 'Apple Midday' festival. Credit: vk.com/apple_midday
The 'Apple Midday' festival. Credit: vk.com/apple_midday

Hate apples? There’s still a festival for you! On Sunday September 9, the Pavlovsk palace-and-park ensemble is hosting ‘Autumn Pastoral’, which will fill the museum’s 18th century garden with a potpourri of seasonal fruit and veg harvested from the garden’s own trees and patches. Festival guests will drink tea from a real Russian samovar and feast on locally-made jams whilst enjoying live classical music performed by an array of St. Petersburg virtuosos. There will also be numerous cooking workshops, art exhibitions, and tours, as well as a special photo area where you can take a picture of your happy jam-stained face to boost your mood on rainy days to come. The event kicks off at 11am, tickets cost 100 rub.

The 'Autumn Pastoral' festival. Credit: pavlovskmuseum.ru
The 'Autumn Pastoral' festival. Credit: pavlovskmuseum.ru

George Martin’s Day

George Martin (left) and Peter Dinklage. Credit: variety.com
George Martin (left) and Peter Dinklage. Credit: variety.com

If marmite was a person, it would most certainly be George Martin, and this weekend gives you the perfect chance to once again brood over (or be sickened by) this fantasy colossus’s creations. For one of the most love-hate authors of our time turns 70 this September, and the St. Petersburg’s Library № 1 located on Tipanova St. 29 is throwing a big party to celebrate. Held on September 8 from 3 till 8pm, George Martin’s Day will be your ticket to the gloomy land of Westeros. Indulge in the authentic cuisine of the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’, try your luck in a literary battle, and let loose dancing to atmospheric medieval music performed by local bands HILT!, Bee Celtic, ALRUNA, and Hisimel. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse not to get nerdy.

Boris Grebenshchikov’s World Music Fest

The 'Chasti Sveta' music festival. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta
The 'Chasti Sveta' music festival. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta

For the second year in a row, St. Petersburg will dance to the ‘Chasti Sveta’ (‘Continents’) Global Music Fest organized by the iconic Russian musician Boris Grebenshchikov. Held in the picturesque Yusupov Palace Garden on September 8, the event will feature the cult Russian folk-group ‘Melnitsa’, as well as the English electronic afro-funk band ‘The Ibibio Sound Machine’, Israeli musicians of ‘Gulaza’, Boris Grebenshchikov’s own music group ‘Akvarium International’, as well as many other musicians from all over the globe.

Boris Grebenshchikov at the 'Chasti Sveta' festival. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta
Boris Grebenshchikov at the 'Chasti Sveta' festival. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta

It doesn’t stop at music only, though. The event will also celebrate other areas of world cultures: festival participants are invited to try exotic meals, journey far and wide with a range of travelling lectures and films, marvel at traditional art masterpieces and attempt to imitate them in a series of workshops, and browse through the kaleidoscopic bazaar of clothes and souvenirs. The event starts at 3pm and will last all the way to 11pm. Tickets cost 1700 rub and can be purchased here.

The 'Chasti Sveta' bazaar. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta
The 'Chasti Sveta' bazaar. Credit: vk.com/chastisveta

Day of the Oreshek Fortress

Day of the Oreshek Fortress. Credit: vk.com/oreshekmuseum
Day of the Oreshek Fortress. Credit: vk.com/oreshekmuseum

This weekend also marks the celebrations of the Oreshek Fortress, one of the oldest fortresses in Russia known for its unique island location. The rich two-day program includes a local folk crafts fair, as well as lots of fun, music, food, and khorovods. But it’s the epic battle reenactments taking place on September 8 that will be the star attraction, and for the first time ever, the festival’s guests have the chance to be directly involved in all the historical drama. So, go get ‘em! Tickets cost 450 rub.

‘Literature.Music.Park’ Festival in the Yelagin Park

The ‘Literature.Music.Park’ Festival. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark
The ‘Literature.Music.Park’ Festival. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark

Held in the sightly park on the Yelagin island on September 9, the ‘Literature.Music.Park’ festival will be yet another weekend highlight. Six interactive areas will be set up, each exploring a different side of St. Petersburg and Russia’s cultural legacy.

The 'Classics at a Palace' area. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark
The 'Classics at a Palace' area. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark

Music buffs will find their joy in the Classics at the Palace, Folk Barn, and Jazz Afloat spaces that will feature the very best of the Russian music talent. The theater-obsessed should head to the Theater Courtyard, where they can watch a glitzy performance of Mikhail Bulgakov’s play ‘Ivan Vasilievich’ which inspired the iconic Leonid Gaidai movie ‘Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future’.

Cinema Courtyard. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark
Cinema Courtyard. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark

Speaking of movies: the neighboring Cinema Courtyard will host screenings of films that impressed the critics and won accolades at the international cinema festivals. And the Chess Courtyard will introduce you to the international grandmaster and World Cup champion Peter Svidler. The event kicks off at 1pm and concludes at 6pm. Tickets cost 100 rub and can be purchased on the Yelagin park’s website or at the park’s ticket office.

Chess Courtyard. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark
Chess Courtyard. Credit: vk.com/elaginpark

Have a great weekend! Yours truly, ITNO.NEWS

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