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Rovaniemi hails New Year amidst festivities

1/2/2017 8:00 AM

The citizens of Rovaniemi celebrated the New Year’s Eve and the New Year 2017 with festivity and joy on late Saturday night and early Sunday as everywhere in the world.

People from all strata gathered at the city centre and other prominent places to take part in the colourful events organised to bid farewell to the year 2016 of the Gregorian calendar and usher in the new year of 2017.

On the New Year’s Eve, Rovaniemi City Corporation held a programme called ‘Welcome New Year’ in front of the City Hall. The programme included circus show, music and a welcome speech by Rovaniemi City Council Chairman Heikki Autto.

Autto termed the year 2017 special for the Finns as it marks the centenary of the Independence of Finland.

“New year always brings new opportunities for Rovaniemi. The opportunities in the coming years are endless. Wishing you a Happy New Year,” Autto said.

The main celebrations started with midnight countdown amidst colourful fireworks that attracted thousands of people from around the city. The event was peaceful as the authorities kept an intensive vigil in all the areas.

Rovaniemi on the occasion hosted air shows, a number of massive multi-coloured firework displays adorned with choreographed lights at Koskipuisto on the city beach along the Kemijöki harbour. After the explosive pyrotechnic show on the waterfront, the authorities launched “shooting stars,” allowing visitors to make wishes for the New Year in the prolonged winter darkness of the Nordic region.

The outdoor celebrations drew a significant number of viewers, despite the below-freezing temperature. Most of the viewers were local residents, including immigrants, as well as tourists from home and abroad.

Earlier, in the evening, Children’s New Year Fireworks took place at Snowman World of the Santa Claus Village where several hundreds of children gathered along with their parents and relatives to say bye to the year 2016.

Extra security measures were taken at all the celebration places this year to avoid any unwanted incident against the background of terrorist attacks in different parts of the world, especially Europe, made by the Islamic militant group ISIS in the recent period.

City Rovaniemi- FNN Report