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Go Irish in Helsinki
by Matthew Fitzsimons
2007-03-18 09:40:00
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It is the time to do Patrick's Day the paddy way. This year societies of all sorts, in addition to the Irish embassy, have joined forces to aid the development of Helsinki's first St. Patrick's day parade.

St Patrick’s Day, on 17th March, is not only celebrated on the Emerald Isle but by the Irish all over the world, in commemoration of St Patrick’s death in the 5th century AD. Originally a religious event, the day is now known as a celebration of all things Irish: eating, drinking, dancing and musical parades. And preferably doing it all while wearing something green.

The good news is that now you can finally enjoy all that in Helsinki too. The parade will start 2pm (12noon GMT, Ireland's official parade starting time) in Senate Square, travel around the streets with its various stops and finish in Senate Square for one final set.

The Finnish-Irish society, emerald club, near 70 dancers of all sorts, our visiting band, O'Malleys Irish pub and Molly Malones are but some who will participate in the parade.

One can stand on the route and watch the parade go by. The parade will start on Senate Square, then move through Unioninkatu to the Market Square, turning right and heading down Pohjoisesplanadi. Then swing right around Stockmann, continuing down Aleksanterinkatu and finishing on Senate Square.

Then later that evening all attendants of the parade will join you in Valkoinen Sali and we will party the night away. Dinner starts at 6pm, but in case you don't want to eat there is the option of coming at 8:30 when the evening event will start. There will be a live band playing from 6pm onwards.

Opening with a speech from the organiser, the Irish societies and the ambassador, the night will commence with performances ranging from Irish to video. Then there will be dancing all night with breaks to appreciate the chat and music, we will also have a singing competition and raffle. Plenty of prizes and drink offers to be had.

Tickets for the dinner and entertainment can be got purchased from Lippupalvelu.fi for 25euro (ticket sales close on Friday 16.3.2007 but one can obtain tickets at the door at the same price.). Tickets for those wishing for the evening party only see a 13euro entrance at the door or 10euro if bought on website prior.

Be seen and wear green!

For full information on the parade and evening event, visit www.damhsa.net

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Eva2007-03-16 10:35:19
Paddy's Day in Helsinki? Well I'll be...
Something tells me the Finns might take to it like fish to water. So to speak.
Have fun :) I will join you in spirit..and with a pint of Guinness. Slainte!

Thanos2007-03-17 12:00:43
we are definitely going to be there, and yes we will have a pint of ...Guinness as well!!! :))

Asa2007-03-17 16:17:32
We went and braved the cold and snow. It was great to see a good turnout for the parade and balloons other than those of the campaigning political parties.

Good work to all involved.

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