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A soldier standing in the sunrise. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

This year’s national Independence Day parade today, December 6, will be organized in Mikkeli, eastern Finland. Culminating the centenary anniversary of the Finnish Defence Forces, the parade is themed as “The Finnish Defence Forces—a Centenary of Readiness.” In addition to the review of troops and pass-in-review, the venue will also offer a versatile equipment display of the Finnish Defence Forces.

The parade will be participated by troops from all three services, the National Defence University, the Finnish Border Guard as well as veterans’ and national defense organizations with the total attendance strength of approximately 900 persons.

The review of troops will be organized at Mikkeli Town Square at 12:00, and the troops will be aligning to position starting at 11:30.

The pass-in-review will be conducted along Maaherrankatu starting at 13. Apart from the marching dismounted detachments, the pass-in-review will be partaken by equipment of the Finnish army readiness units, altogether 50 vehicles in total. The review site for the pass-in-review is located by the AVI Eastern Finland. The detachments marching on foot will start progressing at the phase line of Vuorikatu. It will be possible to observe the pass-in-review along Maaherrankatu.

The flypasts of the pass-in-review will include Finnish army NH90 transport helicopters and Hughes MD500 light helicopters as well as Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighters and Hawk jet trainers. The flypasts will cause noise in the area of Mikkeli town center.

The parade will be reviewed by Commander of the Finnish Army Lieutenant General Petri Hulkko, accompanied by a representative of the town of Mikkeli and a representative of the war veterans. The field devotional will be given by the Finnish army’s Senior Chaplain Vesa Aurén. The parade troops will be commanded by Army Chief of Staff Major General Markku Myllykangas. The parade arrangements are the responsibility of the Karelia Brigade.

  • At 09:40 Ceremonial Wreath Laying at the Statue of General Headquarters at Mikkeli Town Square
  • At 09:30 – 15:00 Equipment Display on Raatihuoneenkatu
  • From 11:30 Alignment of troops to position for the review of troops at Mikkeli Town Square
  • At 12:00 Review of troops at Mikkeli Town Square
  • At 13:00 Pass-in-review along Maaherrankatu
  • The audience of the parade may also familiarise with the philately roll up exhibition on the hundred-year history of the three services by Association of Officer Philatelists as displayed on postage stamps available in the premises of the mall Stella shopping center at 11-16.
  • The parade affects the overall traffic situation in Mikkeli

It is advisable to avoid using one’s own car in the area of Mikkeli town center at the time of the parade events as some streets and areas will be completely reserved for the parade. Those looking to attend are asked to arrive in good time.

Those looking to attend are reminded that airspace restrictions will apply above the entire area of Mikkeli town center and drone aviation will be strictly forbidden for sustained safety with the exception of regulatory authority functions. The public is invited to attend all the events.