In addition to the traditional Christmas parade, this year’s event will provide even more for visitors to experience than before. You can enjoy the event points of Keskuskatu and Narinkkatori and the Christmas atmosphere both before the Christmas lights are turned on and after the parade.
Keskuskatu will turn into Hyvän Tahdon Katu (Good Will Street), along which you will find charity points operated by We4You, HelsinkiMissio and the Salvation Army, among others. On Good Will Street, you can take part in a sock workshop and do some Christmas arts and crafts, buy handicrafts made by children, take Christmassy pictures against a seasonal backdrop or make a donation to the Christmas Kettle. The area will also be filled with Christmas atmosphere by the performances of vocal ensemble Escapella and the red cheeks of Mrs Claus.
A children’s toy collection truck operated by Enset will arrive at Narinkkatori, where helper gnomes will collect toy donations from 14.00 to 19.00. All toy donations will be delivered by HelsinkiMissio to families with children in need of help. Narinkkatori will also feature a Christmassy spruce forest, and an animal merry-go-round operated by the Port of Helsinki will take the youngest members of the family on a spin free of charge. The slang choir singers of Stadin Slangi ry will add to the joyous atmosphere.
Before the parade starts, you can also find Christmas atmosphere in the Torikorttelit area, the atmospheric cafés and restaurants of which will invite you to enjoy their warm beverages and delicacies. The Escapella choir will perform in the Torikorttelit area from 14.00 to 16.00 and on Keskuskatu after the parade.
The parade will start turning on the Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights roughly at 16.00
“The traditional Aleksanterinkatu Christmas Street opening ceremony will kick off the Christmas season and invite everyone to enjoy the seasonal festivities of the city centre. I hereby welcome everyone to come see the Christmas lights get turned on and watch the cheerful parade, in which I will be glad and honoured to take part with a Christmas gnome group consisting of local school pupils,” comments Mayor Juhana Vartiainen.
The parade will start from the edge of Senate Square roughly at 16.00 and proceed along Aleksanterinkatu to Mannerheimintie, from where it will continue along Pohjoisesplanadi to Unioninkatu and then back to Senate Square. The parade round will take roughly one hour in total.
The Aleksanterinkatu Christmas lights will be turned on gradually as the parade passes
Helsinki’s Christmas opening ceremony will feature numerous cheerful characters, animals and dance groups: The parade will be led by Mayor Vartiainen with a children’s Christmas gnome group, in addition to which the most anticipated guest of the season will arrive from Korvatunturi with Mrs Claus. The audience will be entertained by the TsigaBoom! group of Tivoli Sariola and Sirkus Finlandia and a circus wagon, as well as the numerous cheerful characters of Linnanmäki Circus School, not forgetting the whimsical Hospital Clowns!
By now, cheerful dog groups have also become a staple of the parade: Broholmers, Basset Hounds, Dalmatians and Golden Retrievers will once again be there to delight the audience with a group of nearly one hundred tail waggers, accompanied of course by the Sinebrychoff brewery horses and their wagons! The enchanting dancers of Dance Point Loiste, the samba ensemble of Papagaio and the groups of WeDrum as One will provide the parade with rhythm!
In addition to vintage fire trucks, the parade will feature something entirely new. A fully electric truck from the Port of Helsinki will arrive at the scene, and a Christmas-red Tokmanni truck will also join the parade to delight the youngest members of the family, future truck drivers!
The organisation of the event will also involve a large group of volunteers, as well as mounted police officers and dozens of security guards.