On September 25, 2016, about 15 thousand guests and citizens of Vladivostok took part in celebration of the 17th anniversary of Tiger Day. Traditionally, the Festival began with a carnival procession.
The weather was beautiful, and the parade was a great success. At noon, costumed parade units representing local schools, kindergartens, businesses, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, children’s activity centers, etc. began moving down Okeansky prospect to the central city square. Every year, the participants compete using any and all possible methods such as colorful 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. The parade itself comprised about 100 units. They competed in the main contest – the Best Parade Unit – that is why they used all available things such as balloons, flags, toy animals, ribbons, musical instruments, umbrellas, and masks, to adorn their unit goers.
Specialized motor vehicles (three quad bikes and seven off-road jeeps) designated for the use in taiga by anti-poaching teams headed the procession. Later on, on the central stage the vehicles were handed over to Primorsky Hunting Management Department and hunting leases by ANO Amur Tiger Center.
After the parade ended, the festivities continued on the central city square. Primorye Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky and acting Vladivostok mayor Konstantin Loboda congratulated the residents and visitors on the 17th anniversary of Tiger Day. Konstantin Loboda 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 – school #2. All the participants received a Tiger Face acrylic award designed and produced thanks to support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Phoenix Fund.
The square was the main ground for festive events. The spectators saw the winners of Ecological Fashion Contest with costumes made of plastic bottles, paper and other recycled materials. The winners of Best Dance Contest amazed the audience with captivating dances. 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 and Valeria Nazarova, highly skilled teachers, 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.
Additionally, at the Phoenix’ pavilion, a press wall/stand with two images of Amur tigers and text “We are so similar” gave the guests of the festival a possibility to make a unique memory photo of the Tiger Day. Both children and adults were happy to place their faces through the hole in tiger face and take a picture. The stand is portable and easy to install.
Video from Tiger Day 2016 can be found here: https://youtu.be/8VjBMjpKe4I
A live concert of the Russian rock band Listya Travy (Leaves of Grass), Ken Hensley with the UK rock and roll band Our Propaganda, and a popular Russian pop/rock band ZVERI (Animals) gave zest to the holiday. The concert was held on the stage of the city square at 6:30 p.m.
We would like to thank David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance, and International Fund for Animal Welfare for continuous support of Tiger Day Festival in Vladivostok and other cities of Primorye. In August-September, Tiger Day Festival was celebrated in Novopokrovka, Luchegorsk, Lazo, Arsenev and Kirovsky. In October, Tiger Day Festival will come in Terney.
Note: 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.