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Maslenitsa Russian festival in Potters Fields Park

A Russian seasonal festival was held in Potters Fields Park on Sunday as the park's management prepares to embark on a month-long maintenace programme.

maslenitsa stage
Maslenitsa Russian festival in Potters Fields Park
Maslenitsa Russian festival in Potters Fields Park
Maslenitsa Russian festival in Potters Fields Park
Maslenitsa Russian festival in Potters Fields Park

Maslenitsa is a pre-Lent festivity that corresponds to the European carnival tradition.

The free festival included live Russian folk music, khorovody (circle dancing), skomorokhi (Russian minstrels), a tug-of-war and performances by the Russian Orthodox Cathedral choir and the Russian Orchestra of London.

Stalls selling traditional pancakes and other Russian foods were on offer.

The festival was organised with support from the Russian government and the Mayor of London.

Boris Johnson has come under attack in some quarters for cancelling the Russian Winter Festival held annually in Trafalgar Square during Ken Livingstone's mayoralty.

Park maintenance starts Monday 2 March

The Maslenitsa festival is the last major event to be held in Potters Fields Park ahead of a month-long programme of maintenance in the popular riverside green space.

A lot of the work will involve turf repair which will mean areas will be fenced of to allow them to be treated and recover.

"We are also placing a new stone edge on the narrow lawn on the step facing the river and by the Delft bench to reduce foot erosion from the many people who enjoy sitting there," says Potters Fields Park director Stephen Cornford. "This will also result in the moving of some of the irrigation system."

"We are already removing the temporary fencing in the planted area close to the Tooley Street entrance and will complete this shortly and install new low railings which will enable people to see the plants better."

There are also plans to replace the park's litter bins later in the year.

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