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  • Sergey Solonskiy

A festival that got axed


On August 14th I had a pleasure of interpreting during a sight-seeing tour of Tomsk for the participants of “Ax Day”, the annual international folk crafts festival held in the countryside not far from Tomsk.

The next day, the festival opened its doors for the participants who received chainsaws and logs to be transformed in beautiful art pieces.

The event was due to become one of the largest international events held in the Tomsk region. This year, woodcarvers and carpenters were not the only ones to compete. Potters, stove setters and blacksmiths joined their colleagues, making “Ax Day” the perfect place to be if you like various folk crafts.

To everyone’s great disappointment, the event had to be cancelled and the public never got to see the grand opening and the amazing trade fair. Unfortunately, one of the food suppliers who had been working perfectly for several years made a big blunder and caused a mass food poisoning, resulting in several participants being sent to hospital. The authorities decided to cancel the public part of the event and ordered sanitary treatment of the venue before any more people would be allowed.

Later on, once all issues had been resolved, I visited the venue and saw all the amazing wooden sculptures and cottages built by the incredibly talented participants.

I sincerely hope that next year the festival will not disappoint. The supplier at fault was banned and extra precautions were taken to make sure anything like this would not happen.

Really looking forward to seeing the festival go successfully next year. Had a lot of fun talking to participants and visiting the venue.


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