Flyway.ru Brings St. Pete's 300th Party to You

St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary kicks into high gear this week, and if you can't be there to see all the grandiose celebrations, just watch them online at www.flyway.ru.

The Internet site was launched last week, and it features online video broadcasts of the main celebration events being held in the country's northern capital.

The jubilee's International Press Center provides information for the site, while a number of information technologies and telecommunications companies, such as Intel, Equant, Cisco and Comset, provide technical support.

The cameras are installed on the roofs of the Winter Palace and the National Public Library and along Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. These, together with reports made available by Russian and foreign television channels, allow Internet surfers to watch the most spectacular events in the jubilee celebration program.

On Tuesday the site featured a live broadcast of the governor's review of the Cadet Corps, the gala opening of the new main gate of the State Hermitage Museum along with a water show on the Neva River and a laser show by Japan's Hiro Yamagato.

On Wednesday the site is due to broadcast a Planet Parade concert by the Arkady Raikin Variety Theater and a performance by the renowned Mariinsky Theater orchestra, directed by Valery Gergiev.

The audience of the site has been growing, said Stanislav Bakanov, the project's spokesman.

More than 30,000 people have visited the site since its launch Monday. Some 67 percent of the visitors are from Russia, while most foreign visitors come from the United States, Ukraine, Germany and Israel, according to Russia's Hotlog, an agency that tracks web usage.

"The traffic can be very heavy at times, but it's not overwhelming," Bakanov said, adding that the hardest part is already behind them. It was obtaining permits to broadcast the events that proved the most troublesome, he said.

"The cameras go off sometimes, but nobody expected such an unprecedented project to function without any mistakes," Bakanov said.