Flags Are Hoisted for the Finnish Defence Forces on Sunday – National Parade in Helsinki

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

On Sunday, June 4, get ready Helsinki, for a parade of mammoth proportions. The Finnish Armed Forces are coming to town and they’re bringing their toys!

The next flag day on the Finnish calendar is June 4, which is in honor of the Finnish Armed Forces. The day is significant to the military as it’s the birthday of national hero and World War II Commander-in-chief Marshall Carl Gustaf Mannerheim who then became Finland’s 6th president in 1944.

This year’s national parade is to be held in Helsinki and promises to be a special event to reflect this year’s 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. The theme of the day is “National defense is everybody’s business.”

As with many of this year’s official events, this promises to be a fun-packed event spanning the entire city. Personnel included in the day’s events include troops from the Finnish Army, Navy and Air Force, National Defence University, Border Guard and Veteran’s as well as several other national defense organizations. More than 1300 people will be involved, with 50 vehicles and 19 aircraft also on show.

So, what can you expect on the day?

To start the day on a high, the Army and Air Force will demonstrate their flying prowess in an air show viewable from Kaivopuisto starting at 10:50 in the morning. This includes NH transport helicopters, F/A-18 Hornet fighters, and the Midnight Hawks aerobatic team and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. However, this event is subject to weather conditions.

Following shortly after the air show is the review of troops performed on Senate Square at 12:00. The parade will be reviewed by President Sauli Niinistö and Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces Jarmo Lindberg. At 13:30 the troops will parade along Mannerheimintie, starting from Simonkatu and heading towards Musiikkitalo. As well as troops the parade will include 50 vehicles and a special inaugural appearance of a 155mm Armoured Howitzer K9 Thunder.

A special event and perhaps the highlight of the day’s program starts at 15:00 on Kansalaistori square. The Defence Forces Finland 100 summer tour 2017 concert. This event includes the Defence Forces’ Guard Band and the Conscript Band as well as soloists Sami Pitkämö, Osmo Ikonen and Heini Ikonen.

Between events and throughout the day there are several displays of military hardware to be perused. Why not meander around Helsinki and inspect Navy combat and support vessels at Eteläsatama harbor, the Boarder Guard’s offshore patrol vessel at Katajanokka dock or Army displays at Kansalaistori square.

Of course, all the day’s events are free of charge but please bear in mind, many roads will be closed for the parade so try to leave your car at home and utilize the public transport options. There may even be roads closed on June 3 in preparation for the event.

Event summary for the Flag Day:
08.00 Ceremonial hoisting of the flag by the Navy in Eteläsatama harbor
9.00 Wreath laying ceremony at Hietaniemi cemetery
09.00-15.00 Navy vessels and equipment display open for visitors in Eteläsatama harbor
10.00-18.00 Equipment display at Kansalaistori square
10.00-10.50 Service in the Helsinki Cathedral
10.50-11.30 Air Force and Army Air Show in Kaivopuisto Park
11.20 Parade troops begin to gather for the review of troops at the Senate Square
12.00 Review of troops at the Senate Square
13.30 Pass in review on Mannerheimintie
15.00-18.00 Defence Forces Finland 100 summer tour 2017 concert at Kansalaistori square

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