Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cop Races, Concerts but No Spiderman

Jets circled overhead, dispersing clouds, and police officers dashed toward the finish line instead of after criminals for City Day over the weekend, but people hoping to see a Frenchman scale a tower were left disappointed.

Urban climber Alain Roberts, nicknamed Spiderman, had planned to climb the West Federation Tower in the Moskva-City business district on Sunday afternoon, the second and final day of Moscow's 860th anniversary celebrations.

But Sergei Baidakov, prefect of Moscow's Central Administrative District, refused to grant him permission to go up the tower.

Roberts is known for climbing skyscrapers such as the Sears Tower in Chicago and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Dubai and climbs without any equipment other than chalk.

Sometimes he also does not wait for permission from city authorities. This time, however, he heeded the city because without permission, he could not place a special net over the 242-meter tower to assist his climb over the slippery glass surface.

More than 1.2 million people attended R&B concerts, parades and classical music performances Saturday in more than 500 locations in central Moscow, Interfax reported. Some 700,000 people took part in festivities at Tsaritsyno park and the All-Russia Exhibition Center.

Roads were closed to cater to many events, such as the 38th Police Relay, where different police divisions, including the OMON riot police, competed.

A classical concert on Red Square proved a popular Saturday night draw as foreign violinists honored the 225th birthday of Italian violinist Niccolo Paganini.

On Sunday, celebrations included Moscow Time, a show on Tverskaya Ploshchad about the city's history attended by President Vladimir Putin, Mayor Yury Luzhkov and first deputy prime ministers Sergei Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev.

Later, a parade of more than 100,000 students marched down Tverskaya Ulitsa.

Tsaritsyno park, dubbed Moscow's Versailles, unveiled a renovated section of Catherine's 18th-century estate, much to the disappointment of architects and conservationists who opposed the renovation and the trees cut down to complete it. The estate opened English-style gardens, cavalry quarters and a greenhouse.

Luzhkov's precautions for City Day paid off, as the celebrations went off without a hitch. Preparations spanned from the seemingly unreasonable -- a ban on the sale of alcohol and glass bottles in downtown stores near City Day events -- to the virtually impossible -- ordering Air Force jets to disperse the clouds to maintain good weather. All were done to ensure that the 5,000 events scheduled over the weekend ran smoothly.

Thirty-seven officials from 26 countries, including seven former Soviet republics, were invited to the celebrations, as well as members of UNICEF and UNESCO, RIA-Novosti reported.

"We are always happy to have guests. This is not just characteristic of Moscow, but of Russia," Luzhkov said as he welcomed them Saturday.