"The smelt is coming!": The main gastronomic festival of the season in the Leningrad region was presented in St. Petersburg

13 April 2021

On Tuesday, April 13, at the St. Petersburg State Budgetary Institution “GTIB” a presentation of the expected seasonal festival took place. The festival of the smelt - “The smelt is coming!” - will take place from 14 to 16 May in the Leningrad region, namely in Novaya Ladoga.

“The Tourist Information Bureau of St. Petersburg held a series of events to promote the city on the Neva in the regions of Russia, so that tourists would know why to visit St. Petersburg and what to see during the travel. The tourist cashback program motivates Russians to travel, and we can see this in the loading of hotels. The city starts to open up. And in the near future we will begin a series of events to promote it in the country, ”said Yuri Bogdanov, General Director of the St. Petersburg State Budgetary Institution“ GTIB ”, at the presentation of the smelt festival.

According to him, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region are strategic partners. Cooperation of the regions is supported by a number of agreements, including on information cooperation and promotion of each other in Russia and abroad. Smelt Festival “The smelt is coming!" will be the first event with such information support.

In particular, St. Petersburg State Budgetary Institution "GTIB", under an agreement with the State Budgetary Institution of the Leningrad Region "Information and Tourism Center" from 2017, hold events to inform about the tourist opportunities of the regions. Thus, the St. Petersburg side informs visitors of its stands at tourism exhibitions about the possibilities of a partner.  Similar events are held in information offices and pavilions of the St. Petersburg Tourist Information Center. Its official website ispb.info publishes information provided by the Leningrad Region that attracts tourists, including information about major tourist events. It is also worth noting that both regions are partners in the national tourist project "Silver Necklace of Russia".

Olga Golubeva, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee for Culture and Tourism of the Leningrad Region, thanked the Tourist Information Bureau of St. Petersburg for the support and told in more detail about the festival “The smelt is coming!". According to her, smelt is harvested on the territory of the Leningrad region for sale in the main market in St. Petersburg. Due to the great importance of this fish for the region, the idea arose to create a May holiday in Novaya Ladoga. Olga Golubeva notes that although the festival is young, in 2021 it is only the third time in a row, but it has already become popular enough to attract tourists.

The Gastronomic Festival is held as a major tourism event. However, his goal was also to draw attention to Novaya Ladoga and its restoration.

According to the festival program, on May 14, as part of the business part, tourism industry experts will discuss the potential for the development of cycling in the Leningrad region and the Velo47 project.

And on May 15-16, guests of the gastronomic event will be pleased with various thematic zones, entertainment events and a rich concert program. At the fair in "Rybatskaya Derevnya", producers from the Leningrad Region and neighboring regions will present a wide range of fresh, fried, smoked, dried and boiled fish (smelt, whitefish, vendace, carp, pike, bream, pike perch, trout).

Those who wish to experience their fishing happiness will be able to take part in the fishing competition. The luckiest ones will receive prizes and awards. Fans of fishing will walk through the trade rows of manufacturers of fishing products, will be able to purchase tackle and inventory.

Numerous food zones and food courts will offer to taste all kinds of fish delicacies and, of course, the main culprit of the festival - smelt prepared according to old recipes. At culinary master classes, accompanied by leading chefs, everyone will be able to show their talents in cooking fish soup, pies and frying smelt.

The center of attraction of the Festival will be the Crafts Fair, where the best masters of folk art crafts of the Leningrad Region will present unique products and authentic souvenirs. Photo zones will be designed for lovers of photos and selfies.

The concert venue of the festival will operate non-stop on May 15-16. On the first of these days, the headliner of the festival will perform for the guests. Who they will be is still unknown and will be determined later. The concert program includes performances by creative teams from the Leningrad Region and St. Petersburg. In the evening of this day, participants and guests of the event will be able to admire the colorful fireworks from the water.

For the first time, the festival took place in May 2019 and immediately became one of the brightest and most ambitious events in the region and took second place in the "Best gastronomic tourism event" nomination in the final of the Russian Event Awards National Event Tourism Award. In 2020, the festival was held on August 28-29 in Novaya Ladoga.

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It is important to emphasize that the festival contributes to an increase in the tourist flow to the Leningrad Region, the creation of a favorable image of the region's territory for gastronomic and event tourism.

In addition, at the presentation of the festival “The smelt is coming!" the presentation of gastronomic fish brands of the Leningrad region and tasting programs for tourists from fish enterprises took place.

Thus, tourist groups are offered excursions to fish farming enterprises and the organization of product tasting. The following enterprises presented their branded outlets where products of their own production are sold, as well as additional services and opportunities related to production (tasting room, excursion to production, visits to nearby attractions, etc.): a fish store, from the leader of fishing and fish processing of the Leningrad region SEC "Petrotral2", gastronomic brand of the Leningrad region "Ivangorodskaya minoga" LLC "Yuniks", clary catfish K (F) X of Petrova Rima Nikolaevna, sturgeon and other fish species K (F) X of Alekseev Anton Sergeevich, and shrimps of LLC "Severnaya krevetka".