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Alcohol Banned At Bashkir Youth Festival

BAYMAK, Russia -- Hundreds of Bashkir youth activists have gathered in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan's Baymak region for a three-day cultural festival, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

This weekend's annual event, which began on July 29, includes a beauty contest, athletic competitions, traditional Bashkir games, and popular Bashkir rock and pop singers performing at night.

Bashkir Youth Union leader Florid Bagaev told RFE/RL that a change to this year's festival will be the that no alcoholic beverages will be allowed at the festival. He said that instead people will be offered traditional Turkic drinks.

The festival is organized by the Bashkir Youth Union and sponsored by the Bashkir World Congress, Bashkortostan's Education Ministry, and Baymak regional authorities.

The festival -- which was first celebrated in 1992 -- is held in different locations each year and this time it will be at Lake Graf in southern Bashkortostan.

Read more in Bashkir here