On September 27, 2015, about 10 thousand guests and citizens of Vladivostok took part in traditional carnival procession devoted to the 16th anniversary of Tiger Day.
At noon costumed parade units representing local schools, kindergartens, businesses, governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, children’s activity centres, etc. began moving down Okeansky prospect to the central city square. Every year, the participants compete using any and all possible methods such as colourful tiger costumes, masks, balloons, posters, conservation slogans to encourage people to save Amur tigers and other wildlife in the Russian Far East in order to stand out their parade units. This year, spectators were amazed by creativity, originality and imagination of the parade participants.
Specialized motor vehicles (quad bikes and off-road jeeps) designated for the use in taiga by anti-poaching teams headed the procession. After the parade ended, the festivities continued on the central city square. Vladivostok mayor Igor Pushkaryov congratulated the residents and visitors on the 16th anniversary of Tiger Day. This year the festival was participated by the Chairman of the Amur Tiger Centre Supervisory Board and Presidential Aide Konstantin Chuichenko and Primorye Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky. Igor Pushkaryov awarded three best parade units for brilliance, originality and full compliance with topic. This year the winners of the Best Parade’s Unit Contest are: 1st place – school # 82, 2nd place – school #60, 3rd place – gymnasium #2. Then, the Best Cheerleaders Contest began.
The square was the main ground for festive events. Everyone had a chance to visit pavilions of non-governmental ecological organizations and find out details of their activities. projects and interesting facts about the Amur tiger. At the Phoenix’ pavilion, Natalia Drobysheva, a highly skilled teacher, gave the children a quiz with questions about Amur tigers and other tiger subspecies. Every child who gave a correct answer received a small gift.
Also, with great pleasure the children participated in the following contests organized by Phoenix: “The strongest tiger”, “The cunning tiger” and “The hungriest tiger” with tug-of-war.
A live concert of the famous Russian rock band Moralny Codex (Moral Code), Russian singers Alexander Buinov and Vyacheslav Bykov, gave zest to the holiday. The concert was held on the stage of the city square at 8 p.m.
We would like to remind that the Tiger Day Festival began in 2000, when the Phoenix Fund took up an idea of children’s writer and game keeper Vladimir Troinin who celebrated the holiday in remote village schools for a few years. Phoenix offered the Far Eastern Branch of WWF to hold jointly the festival in Vladivostok, and so it happened with support from Vladivostok City Administration. In 2001, Tiger Day was officially announced as city festival, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joined the Festival Organizing Committee. Every year, the festival increased in scale and became popular on new areas. Since 2014, thanks to united efforts by administrations of Primorsky krai and Vladivostok city and the Amur Tiger Centre autonomous nonprofit organization the festival have been celebrated during two days.
This year, the Phoenix Fund and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) organized a TigerQuest on September 26, the first day of celebration. TigerQuest is an adventure game with three “tiger” routes in Vladivostok city. Participants had to follow one of the routes and find as many as possible tigers (monuments, posters, sybmols, etc). In all, about 1,000 people took part in TigerQuest. Those who found all tigers could receive prizes on September 27 during Tiger Day celebration. We would like to express our gratitude to the following partners: “Mosigra” board game store, “Illusion” house of mirrors, “Sunduk” souvenirs’ shop, “Traveler’s Coffee” café and “ExitGames” Quest Centre.