3а Kronverkskaya naberezhnaya, Saint Petersburg, Russia
www.saint-petersburg.com/eve… - 8 (812) 923-49-39
Scarlet Sails Saint Petersburg Reviews
Sail Away Jun 25, 2016
My brief research around White Night celebrations revealed Scarlet Sails would occur the night of our arrival. Although I could not find many details, it was touted as the biggest event during these weeks, featuring “fireworks, music concerts and massive water show” running from 10P-4A at Dvortsovaya Square (where the Hermitage is located). The relevance of the event is to celebrate graduation for high school students and that was good enough for me.
Around 11P we left the hotel and headed towards the Neva River. The road along the Neva was open only to pedestrians and folks already packed the riverfront. Though we steered downtown, pretty soon things became so clogged with humanity that we held up and joined the throngs (we were probably over a mile from the Square). I learned later there were almost a million people on the streets for the show – can you imagine?
It was fun observing the crowd, which was critical because we had to wait some time for it to become dark enough to launch the show. While there was still a fair amount of daylight at 1AM, that was when fireworks began flying. At first I feared the display would be rather lame, the bursts being far from the most impressive I have witnessed. But the barrages continued and continued, soon accompanied by lights flashing along all of the bridges spanning the Neva and then an astonishing laser light show.
Things intensified when fireworks started shooting from the bridge immediately in front of us (Troitsky, the main launching pad was the Dvortsovy Bridge a mile away), and then the bridge behind us (Liteiny). While our surroundings were lit by all of these explosions, a tall ship with scarlet sails sailed past us and was quite inspiring. The red sails were wonderfully illuminated by a flickering glow from the numerous bursts.
When the skies went dark around 1:45AM, the masses quickly began to funnel away. A very orderly crowd, a slight portion was tipsy (did not seem there was any ‘open container’ law here, but no obnoxious behavior) and I was surprised how many families with young children (many baby carriages too) were in attendance. The dissipation of our massive blob was watched over by quite a few folks blessed with riverfront porches or standing on rooftops. Despite the late hour it was the grandest communal event I had ever experienced. A fun time!
Part of the Bopping about the Baltics travel blog
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