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Let’s celebrate the City of Tampere’s 240th anniversary together

Published 24.9.2019 9.29

Tampere, established on 1 October 1779, celebrates its 240th birthday this year. In honour of the festive year and the European Capital of Culture bid, culture is the birthday celebration’s theme. The festive week’s programme includes a variety of cultural events, including arts, music, dance, theatre, exercise and communality. During the festivities, the City of Tampere is bursting with more than one hundred fantastic events and activities. As a birthday present to citizens, Tampere is offering a unique public art entity along the shore route by Tammerkoski Rapids.

Yleisöä tapahtumassa

Tampere is known for ideas and innovations born of the rapids, hard work, and most of all, the unique atmosphere created through common efforts. 240-year-old Tampere wants to celebrate its anniversary together with local residents, offering the Tampere 240 – Art along the Tammerkoski Rapids art entity as a present for all. Eight public works of art will be on display for ten days, from 27 September to 6 October – that is, 240 hours, along the shore route by Tammerkoski Rapids.

Finnish and international contemporary artists were invited to contribute to the event. Eight interesting public works of art were selected from the wide range of proposals. The works of art included are Kosken kuulemat by Maija Kovari, Pushing Daisies dinosaur sculptures by Anna Pekkala, the Loistavat pelit light installation by Marko Vierimaa at Museum Centre Vapriikki, the light installation Headline, implemented in cooperation with Tampere’s twin city Tartu and NGO Valgusklubi, Initium by the Flowers of Life company, light installation Knut by Petteri Jerkku, Toivomuspuu by Richard Röhrhoff and Haamuratikka by Minna Leinonen and Jussi Suonikko. Some of the works of art are light installations, best viewed after six o’clock in the evening as night falls. More detailed descriptions of the works of art and their locations are available online at

In addition to the works of art by the shore route, Tampere will be the first city in Finland to host the amazing Dancing Fountain water and light show in Tammerkoski rapids, three times each evening. The illuminated sprays of water rise up to 25 metres into the air, dancing to music in the rapids. The shows, which last about ten minutes, can be viewed from 27 September to 5 October in the evenings at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

“Tampere, whose origins lie by Tammerkoski rapids, has over the centuries developed from an industrial pioneer into an ICT hub and capital of culture. We have experienced our share of difficulties over the years, but have finally reached a consensus for building the future, boldly and honouring the city’s industrial heritage. We want to inspire a spirit of common effort on the city’s birthday, celebrating its 240th anniversary together with Tampere citizens, enjoying public art," says Lauri Lyly, Mayor of Tampere.

Birthday with coffee and cake in Ratikkakahvila cafe

This year, the festive programme of Tampere Day has been put together in a traditional way together with the city’s citizens and includes a wide variety of events around the city. The celebrations will take place over the weekend 27-29 September and on the actual birthday, 1 October.

Saturday, 28 September To celebrate the city’s 240th birthday, City of Tampere will serve coffee and cake in Ratikkakahvila tram cafe at Tampere Central Square to the first 2,019 people who arrive. Mayor Lauri Lyly will be present from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

To mark the occasion, the Old City Hall will have open doors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The self-guided walking tour includes the key rooms in the Old City Hall. City employees will present the premises and works of art, and answer questions from the members of public. Get in line early. Guests will not be allowed in after the doors close at 3 p.m. As the Old City Hall has no cloakroom, visitors will have to keep their outerclothes with them during the tour, but no large bags, umbrellas, backpacks or baby prams will be allowed. Bags will be inspected on entry. There will be an accessible route for wheelchair users.

Festive week culminates in the opening ceremony of the Festival of Lights on 5 October

Almost all of the Tampere Day events are free of charge or have a discounted admission fee. Many interesting attractions, such as daycare centres, senior citizens’ service centres, the Mediapolis in Tohloppi, Hatanpää manor, the Tampere Kansi Visit Center and Tampere University Hospital will have their doors open. Guided tours will be arranged at Hiedanranta on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Many museums have free admission on Sunday the 29th, including the Moomin Museum, Museum Centre Vapriikki (excluding the Theatre City exhibition), the Amuri Museum of Workers’ Housing, the Manga exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum, Museum Milavida, the Sara Hildén Art Museum and the Lenin Museum. Keeping with tradition, fire stations will also celebrate Tampere Day with open doors, and this year, even the renewed Fire Museum at the Central Fire Station will be open.

One of the staples of the Tampere Day programme is the Tallipiha Crafts Event where a large group of craftspeople come together to present their work and demonstrate their skills on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tampere Day workshops will be arranged at Tullintori Square on both Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m., and the Finlayson Area will offer tastes and experiences on both days as well. Culture House Laikku and Children’s Cultural Centre Rulla will host a wide variety of events and activities throughout the entire weekend as well. Monitoimitalo 13 is offering plenty of activities for families and youth on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The guided Tampere Day city tours will also take place on both days.

Commercial operators in Tampere city centre have been able to submit their events, special offers, restaurant theme menus and other campaigns as a part of the Tampere Day programme. The birthday celebrations culminate in the Light Festival opening ceremony in Koskipuisto Park on Saturday, 5 October at 7 p.m.

Programme published in the Tampere magazine and online

Every Tampere Day, the city rewards commendable individuals whose life’s work or activities have contributed to the development of Tampere and the well-being of its citizens or its attractiveness as the most popular city in Finland. The awards are handed out at a city reception on the actual Tampere Day on Tuesday, 1 October.

The Tampere Day programme was published in the Tampere magazine, which was delivered to all households in Tampere on Saturday, 21 September. The magazine is available from libraries and Frenckell Service Point. The programme is also available on the city’s website at The official Tampere Day Facebook event can be found under the name “Tampereen päivä 2019". You can also join in with the festive spirit on social media by using the hashtag #tampereenpäivä. Find out more in Tampere 240th anniversary celebration’s programme and join in to enjoy the diverse offering of the festive year.

King Gustav III of Sweden signed the foundation document of the City of Tampere on 1 October 1779. Tampere Day has been celebrated since 1955.

Further information

Contact person
Aliisa Piirla Tel. 050 523 2134

Photos Laura Vanzo