Swing into the New Year with family-oriented festivities at Senate Square
The New Year’s Eve celebrations at Senate Square on 31 December 2009 will feature brilliant performers on the stage and a fun atmosphere for all. Throughout the evening Senate Square and the University of Helsinki’s Festival Hall will offer family members of all ages lots of interesting things to watch and listen to.
Celebrating together with Mikko Leppilampi, Maria Ylipää and Ella Kanninen from 11pm
Helsinki and TV viewers across Finland will greet the New Year with exciting festivities that begin at 11pm and that will be broadcast live by YLE TV1. Actor-singers Mikko Leppilampi and Maria Ylipää will perform new arrangements of classic swing music. The two popular actors, who attended theatre academy together, will perform together after one year apart. The event will be hosted by reporter Ella Kanninen.
Poet Anja Erämaja will recite a poem that she has written especially for the forthcoming New Year. The children’s choir Sekamelska conducted by Veera Voima will also perform. Helsinki Mayor Jussi Pajunen and Bishop Eero Huovinen will deliver their official New Year’s greetings. Members of the public can then join in and sing along to the hymn “Maa on niin kaunis” and the Finnish national anthem.
The live broadcast from Senate Square will also feature extracts from the light installation “Heijastuksia – Reflections” by Lighting Designer Mikki Kunttu, who is also responsible for the overall visualisation of the event. The projections of light onto Helsinki Cathedral will reveal breathtaking surprises for the audience while offering a sneak preview of the Season of Light that extends from 1-6 January 2010.
The evening of swing will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display by this year’s Finnish Champions Ilotulite Oy. The stylist for the performers will be Minttu Vesala, and Mari Vaalasranta is responsible for hair and makeup.
Stadi Rock New Year concert at 10pm
Local band Wedding Crashers, winners of this year’s “Ääni ja Vimma” battle of the bands, will take to the stage at 10pm. The talented trio includes Oskari Halsti, Esa and Petri Pottonen, rising stars in the rock scene. The audience will be further entertained by stand-up comedian Pekka Jalava, who performs right before the live broadcast begins at 11pm.
Children’s New Year concert at 5pm
At this year’s children’s concert, farmyard animals will fill the university’s Festival Hall, delighting the audience with beloved animal songs conducted by composer Marjatta Meritähti and the Paatti Orchestra. The concert begins at 5pm and is suitable for the entire family from around the age of 3 and up.
Tickets to this free concert can be picked up from the lobby of the main university building (Aleksanterinkatu 5) on the day of the concert 31 December 2009 from 12noon onwards. The children’s concert is organised together with the Annantalo Arts Centre and the University of Helsinki.
Other arrangements on New Year’s Eve
Helsingin Työttömät ry, the local association for employed people, will sell warm drinks and snacks at the market.
Finnish Radio /TV 1 will broadcast live from Senate Square beginning at 11pm.
For safety reasons, members of the public are not allowed to shoot off fireworks in the city centre.
Parts of Unioninkatu, Hallituskatu and Yliopistokatu streets will be closed already on Saturday morning, 27 December, at 7am to prepare for the event.
Helsinki City Transport (HKL) will publish special timetables for public transportation. Additional night buses run after midnight, and the metro will operate for two hours longer than usual. Driving to the city centre by car is not recommended. Further information: www.hkl.fi, www.ytv.fi.
Details about the New Year’s Eve programme and traffic arrangements can be found on the website www.hel.fi/events.
Event organiser: City of Helsinki
Partners: Helsinki Cathedral Parish, University of Helsinki and YLE
Helsinki City Event Office
Salla Anttola, Executive Producer, tel. +358 (0)50 305 8509, salla.anttola (at) hel.fi
Saila Machere, Event Manager, tel. +358 (0)40 516 8022, saila.machere (at) hel.fi