The celebration at Artek Arena was the highlight of the 93rd anniversary of the Artek International Children’s Center. Participants of the sixth session – Happy Birthday, Artek – which comprises 3,500 children from 14 countries, will remember this day full of well wishes from all over the world, flowers, gifts and, most importantly, the unforgettable atmosphere of the Artek holiday.
Director of the Artek International Children’s Center Alexei Kasprzhak congratulated the children on their camp’s anniversary. “Artek is you, everyone who is present here. Artek is always different, because new people arrive here for every session. Artek unites and gives everyone an opportunity to believe that you are the best. Artek’s anniversary is the anniversary of the moment when all dreams come true. Artek changes and develops together with you, it is still very young and has a long life ahead,” Kasprzhak said in his address to the children.
As per tradition (which, by the way, marks two years on this day), Kasprzhak presented the Artek Star badge of public recognition to the most active members of the session, one from each camp. The recipients were Ksenia Alyoshina from the Nizhny Novgorod Region, Alexei Babkin from the Sverdlovsk Region, Matvei Kityov from Samara, Milena Nikitina from the Vologda Region, Nikolai Grechko from the Nizhny Novgorod Region, Viktoria Gelmashina from the Kostroma Region, Yulia Lukyanova from the Tver Region, Dmitry Arkhipov from Moscow and Adelina Trokhina from Moldova.
The Artek director also invited on the stage and presented gifts to birthday boys and girls Artur Gasparyan, Alina Khokhrekova, Ivan Litvinenko, Yulia Pakhomova, Varvara Doinikova, Alexandra Pak, Varvara Greb, Valeria Garafanova, Semyon Osipov, Elina Dorzhiyeva, Yegor Paktusov, Polina Nekoval and Arina Aleksandrova.
Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyaryov was the event’s guest of honor. The MP brought a present from the committee, a real hot air balloon. Now children at Artek will be able to fulfill their dream to go ballooning. Speaking about the importance of Artek, Degtyaryov said: “Artek has hosted millions of children, and entire generations have proudly called themselves Artek campers; they are loyal to their friends and country. Today we are happy to see that Artek is improving each year. I hope that it becomes the world’s main children’s center that children not only from Russia and neighboring countries want to attend, but also children from all other continents. I also hope that all your dreams come true.”
Artek is receiving congratulations from all over the world: a large screen displayed warm wishes to the camp from former Artek attendees from various countries and continents, in many languages. After such messages, the children could appreciate their place in the global, 1.5-million member Artek family; the children hugged and sang the song There Are Millions of Us, one of the most loved songs at Artek.
The performance of pop singer Anna Mikulskaya and the Mojito band, as well as children’s creative groups from 11 countries – dancers, musicians, circus performers and gymnasts – contributed to the festive atmosphere. A theatrical performance at Artek Arena took the audience on a journey through the history of Artek and Russia. Children read the memoirs of their predecessors, those who had a happy time at Artek.
On Artek’s anniversary, a tradition which began in this year’s third session continued: boys gave girls flowers to remember the holiday and Artek, and a huge sea of roses flooded the stands. Another highlight was a huge sponge cake, which was prepared by the children themselves under the supervision of experienced chefs. The culinary masterpiece was wheeled out on the stage of Artek Arena. It was not easy to blow out the 93 candles on the cake, but the teamwork skills that are highly valued at Artek came in handy: the birthday children and Artek Stars managed to do it on the first attempt. Together with other children, they made wishes, which, we believe, will definitely come true.