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Eight months, more than 18 million people, 15,000 events: How the Russia EXPO unfolded

Attracting participants, exhibits and visitors from all over the country and abroad, the grand exhibition and forum showcased many of Russia’s finest achievements

The Russia EXPO international exhibition and forum, which started on November 4, 2023, has concluded in Moscow. During the exhibition, over 15,000 business, cultural, educational, and sports events were organized. The achievements and development prospects of all 89 regions of the Russian Federation were on display. The closing ceremony took place on July 6, featuring performances by famous artists and meetings with renowned athletes.

Over eight months, the Expo was visited by more than 18 million people. The highest attendance was recorded on July 6, with more than 200,000 visitors in one day. Previously, the highest attendance was recorded on the opening day, November 4, with 192,000 people, and on Children’s Day, June 1, with 191,000 people.

According to a sociological survey conducted by ANO Expert Institute for Social Research and HSE University, 40% of the visitors came from the various regions of Russia, 37% were Moscow residents, and 22% were residents of Moscow Region. Among the 6,300 respondents, 97% noted that after visiting the Expo’s exhibitions, they were convinced that they live in one of the world’s most advanced countries, while 96% agreed that the achievements presented at the Exhibition instill confidence in the future.

The closing of the Expo on July 6 at the All-Russian Exhibition Center (VDNKh) in Moscow was celebrated with a grand festival. Multiple stages operated simultaneously throughout the venue. The program included a festive concert summarizing the Expo, as well as performances by famous artists and musicians.

Leading national dance and choir collectives also performed for the guests. The concert featured legendary Russian sports figures, participants of the Alley of Fame exhibition: Dina Averina, Arina Averina, Sergey Karyakin, and Vyacheslav Fetisov.

Hundreds of weddings

One of the highlights of the eight-month Exhibition was the wedding festival. On the final day of the festival, May 19, a ceremonial marriage registration of thirteen couples from the Central Federal District of Russia took place on the Main Street Stage of the Exhibition. Couples from Bryansk, Vladimir, Voronezh, Kaluga, Kostroma, Kursk, Moscow, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk, Tver, Tula, and Yaroslavl regions became husband and wife. A total of 282 couples from across the country got married at the Exhibition.

On the first day of the Year of the Family, the Heart of Russia Family Hearth was lit at the Exhibition, with fire brought from Murom, the homeland of Saints Peter and Fevronia. Afterwards, the fire was taken all around Russia.

Opening of the first All-Russia Wedding Festival

©  RIA / Anatoly Medved

“Such an event has never happened in our country’s history: on the first day of the festival alone, over 300 people got married. Throughout the Exhibition’s duration, 564 people married – this historic event will remain in the memory of 282 families forever. We are grateful to the regional representatives for their attentive approach to each couple and the joint organization of this celebration,” said Anastasia Zvyagina, Deputy General Director of Russia EXPO.

Many couples were married wearing national costumes as part of the All-Russian wedding festival, showcasing Russia’s cultural richness.

Future for children

From June 1 to 9, Childhood Days were held at the Exhibition, attended by more than 360,000 people. Activities included the International Festival of Theatre Schools from BRICS countries and the Movement of the First Festival, which united children and adults. Participants from 40 countries attended the festival.

The Exhibition Directorate, together with Roscosmos and the Movement of the First, implemented the Dream Capsule initiative. Children’s dreams collected at the Expo will be sent to the International Space Station.

For those about to attend graduate school, admission events were organized by universities, allowing them to get acquainted with educational institutions from various regions, all in one place.

Events for children were also organized in partnership with the Russian Znanie (‘Knowledge’) Society, the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh), and the Movement of the First. Over 1,200 educational events and about 3,500 lectures were held, with 5,300 speakers participating.

As part of the Rosmolodezh forum campaign at the Russia EXPO, an educational session titled Tavrida. ART – Only in Russia was held from June 2 to 8, 2024, which included five art schools: contemporary music, street theater, puppet theater, street art, and choreography.

Sports aspect

For sports events, the Expo partnered up with the All-Russian Movement Healthy Homeland, with the Expo’s sports ambassadors being Olympic champions Vyacheslav Fetisov, Rima Batalova, Alexander Legkov, Nikita Kryukov, Svetlana Romashina, and Nikita Nagorny.

The sports program included a massive group workout with 5,773 participants. A large-scale sports parade dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the first sports parade on Red Square was also held, featuring over two thousand athletes from all sports federations demonstrating their skills.

More than 100,000 people participated in sports events.

Looking ahead

On July 1, President Vladimir Putin signed an order to create the Russia National Center to preserve the Expo’s legacy and showcase the country’s achievements.

“The Russia National Center will be a place of dreams, pride, achievements, and the future, where every visitor can contribute. This innovative platform will not only demonstrate various achievements – we are creating a space for dialogue and inspiration for new accomplishments in all areas of life. Of course, we will pay significant attention to supporting the boldest dreams of children and youth, primarily in terms of self-realization,” said Natalia Virtuozova, the Expo General Director.

The cultural and historical significance of the Russia EXPO was also discussed at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) in early June.

©  RIA / Ekaterina Chesnokova

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia Maxim Oreshkin noted that the Expo was a place for creating new ideas that influence the country’s life. “The effect of the Expo is significant. When we talk about the future, the National Center should be such that the effect becomes even greater. We will design and implement this project together with all regions and citizens of our country. Our country has a future. Russia is the future of the world,” Oreshkin emphasized.

Aleksey Likhachev, general director state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, noted that the exhibitions and stands at the exhibition helped attract youth to various industries. “In the ‘Atom’ Pavilion, among other things, we talk about the humanitarian dimension of nuclear technologies – in medicine, materials science, agriculture, and so on. Of course, fighting cancer is impossible without this. Nuclear-inspired technologies – including additive technologies in healthcare – are already a reality. Now atomic technologies are the cutting edge of scientific discovery – and tomorrow, they will be commonplace,” Likhachev highlighted.

St. Petersburg Governor Aleksandr Beglov noted that Russia’s regions should develop their own platforms similar to the Expo. The Expo allowed the regions to tell their stories and gain experience from interacting with other subjects, emphasized the governor of the Republic of Mordovia, Artem Zdunov.

The International Exhibition and Forum took place at VDNKh in Moscow from November 4 to July 8.

©  RIA / Sergey Bobylev

July 09, 2024 at 08:26PM

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