It’s hard to argue against the perfect blend of kitsch, warmth, and spectacle that Linnanmäki provides, especially in the darker times of the year when its ambience truly shines. It’s an unusual amalgamation that satisfies a wide variety of ages, while opening its doors to all patrons with free entry to the park. The free entrance impressively lends it to being a community space for all, with the option of some free rides and a variety of pricing options. Some may jeer at the old-fashioned nature of the establishment, but its hard to construct the charm it provides in many modern day amusement parks, not to mention its centrality to the city and ease of access. When you combine this with the fact that a large amount of proceeds go towards Finnish child welfare work, it’s a no brainer.
On Sunday evening, Linnanmäki observed its tenth year of Valokarnevaali (Light Carnival), which celebrates the final opening days before its closure for the winter season. Here are the highlights.
Linnanmäki was founded by six child welfare organisations, which later consolidated in to Lasten Päivän Säätiö in 1957. In conjuction with this achievement, Lasten Päivän Säätiö (Chidren’s Day Foundation) marked it’s 65th year since the founding of Linnanmäki, which opened the park in time for the Helsinki 1952 Olympics. Impressively, the park raises funds for Finnish child welfare work: in 2014, 3.9 million euros were donated, with an increased goal in donations to 4.1 million euros this year.