The public park party in the Töölönlahti Park and on the Kansalaistori Square mark the opening of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 8 July. The summer day’s programme is abundant and its main theme is sustainability. The opening event is also the kick-off for the Töölönlahti Bay activity event, where the participants walk, jog or run together around the world in 180 days for the Baltic Sea.
The participants wake up to the festive summer day in the Töölönlahti Park at nine o'clock with morning workout backed by live music. The pace slowly increases towards the official opening of the summer festival at 1 pm, when Prime Minister Antti Rinne and Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori inaugurate the party together with the children of Helsinki Cup.
The programme continues through the day. The day will hold a rock’n’roll workout with the Finnish band Waltari, brushing up dance moves at traditional partner dances, a sweat-inducing beach sauna or enjoyment at a park picnic. There will also be a number of summer activities for the children: A gig by children's band Pikku Papun Orkesteri, a hobby horse track and different kinds of workshops.
The evening culminates in the opening of the Helsinki Cup, when thousands of junior footballers from 21 countries gather to take the match oath. Games played by the youngest juniors can be watched next to the Finlandia Hall from the early morning.
Sustainability the theme at the Kansalaistori Square
Among the themes of the presidency, Finland has chosen to highlight climate change as an important part of the opening celebrations. Artist Kaisa Salmi’s artwork called Plastic Mama will be mounted on the Kansalaistori Square. Made of recycled plastic by the artist and thousands of volunteers, Plastic Mama is a baroque dress that will soar to a height of ten metres.
Finland’s and the EU organs’ EU playing field tent brings together the citizens and the decision-makers to discuss Finland’s Presidency and the European Union. Some more laid-back activities for visitors of all ages will also be on offer at the tent: play table football or get your face painted in biodegradable glitter colours.
The City of Helsinki arranges the opening ceremony of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the Prime Minister's Office, the Europe Information at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the EU Parliament’s and the European Commission’s representation in Finland as well as the Helsinki Cup.
Read more: Signals from Helsinki - Sustainable Solutions in Helsinki
Launch of the Töölönlahti Bay activity event
The summer day is also the start of the six-month Töölönlahti Bay activity campaign. The goal is to go around the Töölönlahti Bay by walking, running or jogging and accrue kilometres worth a journey around the world to the joint odometer.
The Töölönlahti round is 2.2 kilometres and the earth's circumference is approximately 40,000 kilometres, or 18,182 times the circumference of the Töölönlahti Bay. If the Töölönlahti walkers, joggers and runners manage to accrue a sufficient amount of kilometres in six months, then Helsinki will make a €50,000 donation to the protection of the Baltic Sea. Thus, like the Government, the City of Helsinki does not hand out gifts to the meeting guests of Finland’s presidency and the aim is rather to direct Helsinki’s immaterial gift to the protection of the Baltic Sea from plastic waste.
The journey can be followed in real time at maailmanympärysmatka.fi.
9.00–9.50 Waltari plays puistojumppa - workout in the park, live music
13.00–13.30 Event opening
14.30–15.00 Performance by Sandra Långbacka
15.45–16.15 Performance by the Stadi Party Band
17.00–17.50 Waltari plays puistojumppa - workout in the park, live music
20.00–21.00 Helsinki Cup opening
10.00–10.45 Maapallo music nursery
14.00–14.10 Ruffle Army giant soap bubble show
15.00–15.45 Performance by the Pikku Papu Band
16.30–17.00 Playground Loru makes you sing and play
11.00–17.00 Carefree Capital – an exhibition
11.30–12.30 1920’s workout
15.00–16.00 1920’s workout
10.00–20.00 Plastic Mama piece of environmental art
10.00–20.00 Escape Room with waste theme
10.30–11.00 Playground Loru makes you sing and play
11.00–20.00 The EU as a playing field
14.00–14.45 The Musiikkitalo – Helsinki Music Centre summer concert
13.00–19.30 Event information corner
13.30–19.00 Starting point of My2050 environmental game
13.30–19.00 Starting point of Mobile Sonic Walk
13.30–19.00 Jylhä – multi art plant tunnel complex
13.30–19.00 Art workshops, nonstop
13.30–18.30 Hobbyhorse workshop and riding course, nonstop
14.00–15.00 Bath whisk workshop
17.00–18.00 Bath whisk workshop
9.00–21.00 Sauna by Töölö Bay Beach
9.00–19.00 Café Veranda, picnic baskets on sale
9.00–19.00 City boats, subject to a fee
9.00–19.00 Reading, games, and walking around Töölö Bay
10.00–17.00 Helsinki Cup junior football tournament
13.30–17.00 Garden games
14.00–16.00 Afternoon dance with a live band and under the guidance of a dance teacher
17.00–19.00 Afternoon dance with a live band and under the guidance of a dance teacher