Tartu City Day brings variety of events this year

Raekoja plats in Tartu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tartu City Day is being celebrated on June 29 in Estonia's second city, with a versatile program which both honors old traditions of past city days and creates new ones.

This year, events have been organized with the principle of safe distance in mind, which eliminates traditional concerts and public gatherings. Nevertheless, the city day will be accompanied by music, which can be enjoyed this year both virtually and on the banks of the Emajõgi river, which flows through the city. During the day, former noteworthy people will be remembered, and today's top performers will also be recognized, the city government said on its website.

"As every year, we are celebrating Tartu City Day spectacularly this year. I am pleased to acknowledge the great people in the Town Hall who have done a lot for our city, but also to remember those who have made a great contribution to the reconstruction of Tartu and Estonia. It is a great pleasure for Tartu that a number of beloved Estonian musicians are to gather to celebrate the City Day, performing in a more unexpected way than usual," said Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform).  

Schedule for Tartu City Day, Monday, June 29

  • At 9.30 a.m.: Mayor Urmas Klaas will place flowers at the monument to former long-term Mayor Karl Luige, in Vanemuine Park. 
  • At 10 a.m.: Morning coffee with the mayor himself on the terrace of the Shakespeare Cafe. You can pre-register on the page, click on the link here. You can also register by calling 1789. 
  • From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.:  Crossword puzzle-solving in Tartu City Library, the Annelinna, Tammelinna and Karlova-Ropka branch councils and the reading room on the Town Hall Square.  
  • 12 noon: The medals from the city of Tartu those homes recognized as beautiful will be awarded inside the town hall. The award, entitledTartu Beautiful Home 2020, is awarded to the owners of outstanding real estate in Tartu. The winners of the competition are recognized and thanked at the mayor's reception. This event is by invitation only. 
  • 12 noon: Video concert "Arrival in Tartu" ("Saabumine Tartusse"). The authors, musicians and songwriters Mari Jürjens, Sandra Üksküla Uusberg, and Kristjan Üksküla will perform the author's works. The video concert can be enjoyed via the Tartu City Day website and from their Facebook account (link to the event in Estonian).  
  • From 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Every hour, on the hour, there will be an appearance by pianists Olav Ehala, Sten Heinoja, and Sven-Sander Šestakov, playing some beautiful music.
  • 2 pm: Playground on Kaunas puiestee 58a will be opened. It has a health trail for seniors, access routes for smaller cyclists and asphalt surfaces are covered with asphalt games. A carousel, a climbing tower with a slide and a nest swing, a surface trampoline, a balance trail, a swivel chair, and rubber spheres await users in a pleasant place to spend time.
  • 3.30 p.m.: The tombstones at Jaan Vainu and Heinrich Johann Luha will be consecrated at Raadi Cemetery. Bishop Joel Luhamets consecrates the tombstones of Tartu's first Estonian mayor Heinrich Johann Luha and member of the city council, member of the Estonian Constituent Assembly, and member of the Riigikogu Jaan Vain at Raadi cemetery.
  • 5 p.m.: The bench of the founder of Estonian state continuity and former Professor of Law at the University of Tartu, Jüri Uluots, will be opened in Vanemuine Park. It will stand next to the statue of Jakob Hurt.
  • 9 p.m.: A river concert entitled "Missed Songs" ("Ärajäänud laulud"). Sopranos Pirjo Jonas (Theater Vanemuine) and Maria Listra, tenors Ramus Kull (Theater Vanemuine) and Reigo Tamm (RO Estonia), baritones Simo Breede (Theater Vanemuine) and Tamar Nugis and Koit Toome will come together and sing well-known arias and songs from operas, operettas, and musicals. The concert will be also honoring the 150th birthday of Theater Vanemuine. The concert is accompanied by pianist Piia Paemurru.

In addition to all this, the traditional recognition of the golden brides will take place this autumn, the city says.

Tartu City Days began in medieval times to celebrate the day of the city's patron saints Peter and Paul in the church calendar. Following the Reformation in Estonia, the anniversary became neglected, being celebrated again from 2003. The ancient tradition has been successfully revived and embraced by the people of Tartu, the city says, and the city day brings together both the people of Tartu and many visitors from all over the world. This year's comprehensive plan is provided on the city's day website. More information about the event can be found here.


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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