There’s two big events taking place in southern Finland this weekend, the Nordic Championship race at Turku and The Era of Autonomy Festival in Helsinki. The Helsinki event includes horses but is not entirely about them. There will be lots to see, worth looking if you happen to visit Helsinki on the upcoming weekend. See their website for details, I picked up some quotes to sum it up a little:
22.9.2012 – 23.9.2012
The Era of Autonomy Festival – Car-Free Day
The Era of Autonomy Festival takes the city back to the 19th century.
The new Era of Autonomy Festival will be held in the historic centre and cultural buildings of Helsinki in September. The festival, which will be held on Car-Free Day on 22 September and on the following Sunday, 23 September, is one of the main events of the “Helsinki 200 Years as Capital” anniversary year.
The Festival takes the public back to the beginning of the autonomy era in the early 19th century. The festival programme includes theatre and poetry in the spirit of the international cultural and social life of tsarist Finland, including music from the era that will be performed for the very first time in Finland. The Senate Square will transform into a horse market and an old fashioned fair will be held in Hietalahdentori square.
Ceremonies will be hosted by Ville Virtanen
The Senate Square will be transformed into a horse market on Saturday 22 September, when the associations Työhevosharrastajat and Suomenratsut bring our four legged friends to meet us. The programme includes horse rides and a Finnhorse quadrille performance. The horse market ceremonies will be hosted by actor Ville Virtanen.
Ride the horse!
The public can ride in horse drawn wagons or conveniently cycle from Senate Square to Hietalahdentori square when cars take a day off on Saturday 22 September, and certain street sections are closed to cars. The public are advised to travel to the events by foot, bicycle or public transportation. Discount prices will be given for Helsinki region public transportation tickets during the Car free Day.
Saturday, 22 September: Car-free Day
Horse market in Senate Square
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The City of Helsinki would never have been built without horses. So we gather in Senate Square to celebrate them. The horse market programme includes harnessing demonstrations, horse quadrille performances, a playful horse auction and horse rides for the public.
The programme is organised by the Suomenratsut association under the coordination of Anne Fischer, and by the Työhevosharrastajat association under the coordination of Tanja Lundsten. The horse market ceremonies will be hosted by Anton Cronstedt (actor Ville Virtanen).
Actor Ville Virtanen will ride a horse from Senate Square to Hietalahdentori square in the role of Anton Cronstedt, adjutant of the governor general.
As he rides, accompanied by the sound of drums, Cronstedt will read aloud theTsar’s edict declaring the City of Helsinki the capital of Finland.
The public can follow his route by bicycle or in horse-drawn wagons. Some street sections will be closed to cars along the following route: Senate Square – Unioninkatu street – Pohjoisesplanadi street – Bulevardi street – Hietalahdentori square.