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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 January 2005, 09:38 GMT
Russians perform in city festival
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square will host the event
Around 500 of Russia's leading performers will be in Trafalgar Square for the Russian Winter Festival.

The event will bring music, theatre and street entertainment to mark the 'Old New Year' according to the old calendar of the Orthodox Church.

London mayor Ken Livingstone, will open the free event which will run from noon to 2000 GMT on Saturday.

He said: "This is a unique opportunity for Londoners to sample New Year celebrations Russian-style."

"It promises to be a spectacular event, a rare chance for us to see some celebrated Russian performers and get a taste of their vast country's rich culture," he added.

Puppet show

Performers include The Red Army Choir, now also known as the Alexandrov Military Choir.

The world-famous choir has performed in more than 40 countries since 1937 and has not appeared in the UK since 1967.

Also on show will be the State Puppet Show, said to be the world's largest centre of puppetry, which was established more than 70 years ago.

Visitors will be able to buy Russian food and souvenirs and enjoy street entertainment, including circus acts and stilt-walkers.

As well as puppet shows, children can take part in art activities in a supervised children's corner.

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