Over 100 various activities – work studios, an ethnic fair, sports fields and playgrounds have been set up in the cozy shadowy lanes and sunny lawns of Gorny Park. Here guests can find new friends from various countries and send postcards to old ones. Visitors can enter a parallel universe using VR goggles or see the Chersonesus frigate with binoculars. According to a long-standing tradition, the ship came to the Artek Bay to congratulate the children’s center on its anniversary.
The ethnic cultural fair was the noisiest and most cheerful venue. Delegations from 14 counties were present for this colorful event at the Russkaya Polyana site. Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Armenian music is playing. National dances mix with modern shows. Here children can socialize, get acquainted with the history and traditions of various peoples, and learn how to overcome cultural differences.
“Many happy returns of the day to you, Artek! We are glad to be part of this big event,” says Elina Urunbekova (Bishkek, Kyrgyztan), a participant of the Artek Commonwealth Festival. “We are grateful to the children’s center for our new friends: the Talisman band from Moscow. We wish Artek success and prosperity.”
“I would like children from all over the world to have a chance to visit this iconic place,” says Tatyana Yezhova from Perm. “Our dance company, Funny Little People, has visited a lot of children’s centers, but Artek is different: it is a real dream town. I hope children who come here will always remember Artek and help it develop when they grow.”
The City of Craftsmen venue attracts those who like creativity. Here Artek children can mix tracks behind a DJ controller, paint, try their hand in floral design and make souvenirs and postcards… Everyone wants to try something new.
“Today everyone on our team has learned something: to make braided bracelets, paint matryoshka dolls or assemble robot mechanisms…” says Anna Yegorych from Donetsk. “In fact, we have become more disciplined during our session. I would like to wish Artek many children who will come here from Russia and other countries for many years.”
On the day of the center’s anniversary, Artek children together with Russian Post gave new life to an old tradition: Letter to a Future Artek Child. Children write messages to those who will come for the next session: they share their impressions or small lifehacks or offer to become pen pals. Before that, such letters were hidden in rooms so well that they were sometimes never found at all. Now Artek Post will handle the messages.
Ulyana Michugina from Gzhel (a village not far from Moscow) was one of those who sent a message into the future. “I said in my letter that Artek means a new life. But it only lasts 21 days, so people have to use this time to the fullest. They should take part in all events, invent new things and try to carry this momentum into the future. I would like someone of my own age to receive the letter, someone responsible. I think they will understand what I wanted to say.”
Athletes also enjoy the celebration: they storm the Extreme Park at the Sport-teen venue and play tennis and gorodki.
“I always get a bit blue that I become a year older on my birthday. But today I want to be happy and have fun, because Artek never grows old but gets cooler and more advanced each year,” says Anastasia Vostokova from St. Petersburg. “I am glad to be here during the session when I can congratulate the children’s center on its anniversary and feel like I am part of its almost century-long history. Here we have the sea, the sun, nature and people who are somehow special, motivated. I would like Artek to be here forever!”
The day continues, and Artek receives congratulations from all over the world. There are still many surprises, presents and the night at Artek Arena to come.