Public events in Tallinn mark 30th anniversary of independence restoration

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On August 20, Estonia celebrates the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence with many public events; The Estonian World highlights some of the free events taking place in Tallinn.

Friday August 20

The Governor’s Garden near Toompea Castle

At 7 a.m., the flag raising ceremony will take place in the Governor’s Garden near Toompea Castle – the most symbolic building in independent Estonia.

The Speaker of the Estonian Parliament, Jüri Ratas; the Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas; and the Speaker of the Icelandic Parliament, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon will deliver speeches and the Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Urmas Viilma, will say a blessing. (Iceland was the first country to recognize Estonia after it restored its independence.)

Many university associations and patriotic organizations will attend the ceremony and the music will be provided by the choirs of the Estonian Association of Men’s Choirs and the Estonian Police and Border Guard Orchestra.

The tricolor national flag at the Tall Hermann Tower will be raised by three generations of one family – Tõnu Saarman, one of the deputies who voted for Estonia’s independence from the Soviet Union on August 20, 1991, with his daughter and grandchildren have the honor.

Toompea Castle and the Great Hermann Tower in Tallinn, Estonia. The Governor’s Garden is on the right. Photo by Williamson. Is shared under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

At 3 pm, the festive concert “The Spirit and Power of Women” will begin in the Governor’s Garden.

The concert is dedicated to Estonian women, who carried the house, the motherland, the people and the nation through difficult and brilliant times.

Thirty musicians – including Mari Jürjens, Liisi Koikson, Anne Veski, Liis Lemsalu, Lenna Kuurmaa, Kadri Voorand, Elina Born and Rita Rey – and the Male Academic Choir from Tallinn University of Technology will honor Free Estonia.

Due to participation restrictions at public events, only 500 free tickets will be distributed for this concert.

Tallinn TV Tower

From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., a military-themed family day takes place at the Tallinn TV Tower.

In the courtyard of the television tower, an exhibition of military equipment is presented; a shooting range is opened and a demonstration battle is fought by members of the Estonian Defense League. The Estonian Rescue Office informs people about fire and water safety rules and in the smoke tent one can learn to find a way out in case of fire.

An origami craft workshop is open to children.

The music is performed by Kolga Uurikad’s student group, Un Canto singing studio, Laikre family ensemble and Swingers group. At 9.45 p.m. there will be a fireworks display.

Tallinn TV Tower.

The Cultural Center of Salme

At 2 p.m., one of the most prominent Estonian singers of the Singing Revolution, Ivo Linna, and his keyboardist, Antti Kammiste, give a special concert in the newly renovated hall of the Salme Cultural Center in Põhja-Tallinn.

The land of the song festival

From 7:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds – the place where the Singing Revolution took place in 1988 – hosts a nightly “Free Estonia” song festival.

Many well-known Estonian pop artists as well as the National Symphony Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will perform local songs and music from the past 33 years.

The end of the concert will be marked by fireworks in the neighboring coastal strip.

The grounds of the Tallinn Song Festival near Tallinn Bay. Photo by Sven Zacek.

All events in restricted areas are accessible upon presentation of the COVID-19 certificate, so please arrive on time. Proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result (within the last 72 hours) can be provided both digitally and on paper.

Some events also offer free rapid tests on site. However, the organizers are still urging people to make sure that anyone who wishes to participate in the event is monitoring their health and only arriving if they are feeling well.

Cover: Estonian Song Festival grounds. Photo by Aivar Pihelgas.


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