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Finland celebrates its centenary with a blast in Helsinki on New Year’s Eve. It’s been a hundred years since Finland declared independence from the Russian Empire in 1917. The Finnish government and Helsinki city are not saving money for this one; the budget for the celebration is over one million euros – a budget three times bigger than compared with an average New Year’s celebration in Helsinki.
According to the organizers, a huge crowd of 60,000 is expected to join the festivities. Because of this, the program previously arranged at the Senate Square (holds about 35,000 people) has been moved to two new locations: the Töölö Bay area and the Citizens’ Square (Kansalaistori). Those strayed to the Senate Square will be redirected to the hot spot at the bay, and a free cookie will be given as a travel snack for those arriving between 21:00-23:00. (There are only 2,000 cookies available, though.)
Here are the details that you should know about the celebrations.
Don’t bring fireworks
For security reasons, it is strictly forbidden for members of the public to set off any fireworks in the event area.
The grandiose street party will extend over Mannerheimintie, which will be closed to motorized traffic between Kiasma and the National Opera for the evening between 20:00 – 02:00. All traffic will be diverted. Warm drinks and clothing are recommended.
Arriving by public transport is highly recommended. The main pedestrian routes to the area run from the railway station and Kamppi via Parliament House and Kiasma towards the opera and through the park in between.
On New Year’s Eve, the public transport will operate on a Saturday service and on New Year’s Day a Sunday service will be in effect. The metro will run three hours longer than usual, and there will be additional bus and commuter train services on New Year’s night.
In addition, some bus and tram routes will be diverted in downtown Helsinki due to the Finland 100 Grand Opening party held at the Citizens’ Square and its surroundings. The Eliel Square (Elielinaukio) bus terminal will be closed from 20:00 to 2:00 and Mannerheimintie will be closed to traffic between Arkadiankatu and Runeberginkatu. More info here.
The Finland 100 fireworks show at midnight will be launched over the Töölö Bay. The dazzling display will take the spectators on a tour through Finland and its four seasons. The fireworks display will be visible from everywhere in the event area. After the fireworks show, the party continues at the Citizens’ Square until 01:00.
Because of the fireworks display, the pedestrian access will be restricted at the southern end of Töölö Bay from December 30 to 31. From Friday December 30 until Saturday December 31, the pedestrian traffic will be diverted from Finland Hall to Linnunlaulu via Töölönlahdenkatu and Alvar Aallon katu and the water’s edge path will be closed to the public. On Saturday, between 22:00 – 01:00, the route will be completely closed.
Food and snacks
The event area has several food stalls selling snacks and hot drinks. The coffee shops and restaurants in the area will also be open late on the evening.
The first aid point will be located on the ground floor of Finlandia Hall, access via Karamziniranta. There are two first aid points at the park area: one in the halfway of the park and another one close to the “My Helsinki” sign. Security personnel are at your service in the event area for any health and safety issues and problem situations.
The event area will have several temporary toilets available near the stages, including disabled toilets.
The program at the Töölö Bay and Citizens’ Square
At 18:00-21:00. Various rap artists and DJs will perform and play at the Park Stage between the opera and Finlandia Hall.
At 18:00-24:00. We Love Helsinki DJs will play at the Opera Stage. In the early evening, the DJs are playing golden Finnish schlagers and later Finnish pop, rock and disco classics.
At 21:00-22:00. Tavastia Lauantaidisko DJs will play at the Citizens’ Square.
At 22:00-01:00. A stellar group of Finnish artists will present the story of Finland at the stage of the Citizens’ Square. On the stage, you will see Saara Aalto, Robin, Alma, Samuli Edelman, Paula Koivuniemi, Remu & Hurriganes feat. Michael Monroe, Paleface, Jenni Vartiainen, Fork, Olavi Uusivirta, Tiisu, Lauri Tähkä, Frida Andersson, Iiro Rantala and Darude. In addition, KOM and Viirus theaters paint unforeseen images of the adventures of the Finns. Race Horse Company & Mad in Finland will offer new circus performances.
For more details and additional program visit here.