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Published on : Monday, May 25, 2015
Helsinki celebrates its birthday on 12 June with an impressive line-up of events stretching from the city centre to the outlying districts. Locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy unique experiences in the city’s parks, market squares and streets ranging from the classic to the cutting edge.
Locals play the starring role on Helsinki Day, producing most of the events themselves and, of course, coming out in large numbers to celebrate the day throughout the city.
“Helsinki’s birthday is an important celebration for locals, and this year too they have been extremely enthusiastic about helping add to the programme. Helsinki Day encourages also small businesses and even individual residents to take part in organising the event,” says Marianne Saukkonen, Event Producer at Visit Helsinki.
Open doors to the balcony of City Hall
Helsinki Day will be officially opened by Mayor Jussi Pajunen, who invites locals and visitors to enjoy traditional morning coffees at 9am. This year the free-of-charge coffees will be served in Senate Square in connection with the Finnish Provinces Days event and the Pop-Up Pohjanmaa programme. Complimentary Helsinki Day morning coffees will also be served in many other parts of the city. Kids meanwhile can enjoy free juice and snacks at City Hall from 10am to 11am, after which they can enjoy their own entertaining programme until 1pm.
One of the main stages for Helsinki Day events will be the balcony of City Hall, which is usually closed to the public. At the “Your Helsinki Day!” event visitors will be able to take selfies and wave to the crowds below from the balcony of City Hall overlooking the Market Square, the South Harbour and Esplanade Park. Visitors can even sign up to give a two-minute speech on the theme of “My Helsinki” from the balcony.
Sibelius, design, gun sloop cruises and Suomi-pop superstars
The Sibelius 150thanniversary celebrations will also feature in the Helsinki Day programme. For example, the Puppet Theatre Centre Buoy (Poiju) will present the “Saga of Sibelius” at the Sibelius Monument at 5pm; this visual, non-verbal performance is based on the classical music of the legendary Finnish composer and is recommended for audiences of all ages.
The design theme too is highlighted in the Helsinki Day programme. New for this year is design orienteering in the Design District, where you can search for hidden design treasures and keep what you find. Admission to the Arabia Museum and the Arabia Gallery is also free of charge on Helsinki Day. In addition, visitors will have a unique chance to visit the Arabia Art Department, which is normally closed to the public.
Another unforgettable experience on Helsinki Day will be the chance to sail aboard an exact replica of an 18th-century gun sloop around Suomenlinna. The gun sloop Diana will sail three routes; on the short crossings to and from the mainland the ship will sail under electric power, but if the wind conditions are right, the cruise around Suomenlinna could be done under sail.
One of the most eagerly anticipated events is the Radio Aalto Helsinki Day Concert in Kaisaniemi Park featuring a whole host of Finnish superstars. This year’s main acts include Haloo Helsinki!, Elastinen, Poets of the Fall, Kasmir, Sunrise Avenue and Jenni Vartiainen.
Man and woman of the year, plus the Helsinki Day baby
The Helsinki slang society “Stadin slangi” will present its local man and woman of the year on the Espa Stage at 10am. In keeping with Helsinki Day traditions, the City of Helsinki will also honour the first local baby to be born on the city’s birthday and present Helsinki medals to deserving citizens.
Free admission to all events
All Helsinki Day events are free of charge. For events at which the number of participants is restricted, free tickets can be claimed in advance from Virka-info inside City Hall Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13 / Sofiankatu 1) beginning on Friday 5 June at 9am. Virka-info is open on weekdays from 9am to 7pm and on weekends from 10am to 4pm.
Helsinki Day has been celebrated since 1959. The original initiative was proposed by the Helsinki Society. The date marks the founding of Helsinki by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden at the mouth of the Vantaanjoki river on 12 June 1550.
Helsinki Day is produced by Visit Helsinki/Helsinki Marketing Ltd. Our media partners are Radio Aalto/Nelonen Media and Metro-lehti.
Source:- Visit Helsinki
Tags: Visit Helsinki