This Wednesday, June 29, Tartu celebrates its annual City Day with a series of traditional events and concerts as well as plenty of activities for children.
Tartu City Day kicks off at 10am, with locals invited to join Mayor Urmas Klaas for a coffee morning on the terrace of Shakespeare Café. Later in the day, medals will be presented to Tartu citizens in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the city, with prizes also awarded for the city's best building and most beautiful home.
At 11am, the Vanemuine Yellow Cats' children's area opens, with tours of the Vanemuine's theater building, workshops, concerts and much more to keep Tartu's younger citizens entertained.
According to Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform), "Tartu City Day honors traditions and creates new ones." Klaas added that, the day "brings together both the people of Tartu and the city's many visitors to enjoy a varied cultural program and recognize outstanding citizens of Tartu."
Reigo Tamm, main organizer of the Tartu City Day events, said that this year there would be more than 20 concerts, both large and small throughout the day. "In the opera symposiums, we will see ensembles that have never played together before - they will share their repertoire and experiment with opera music. At the gala concert, we will hear well-known opera classics and Tiit Kikas' short opera "The Nightingale and the Student", which was written for Tartu, will be performed again. The gala concert and opera symposium concerts are free of charge for visitors," Tamm said.
Many of the day's musical performances will see surprising and unexpected collaborations between artists who don't usually perform together.
At noon, singer Piret Krumm of Tallinn-based band Diskofon for instance, will perform at the Vanemuine Theater, backed by the 80-piece Baltic Youth String Orchestra, comprised of young musicians from all three Baltic states.
According to Tartu City's official website, the highlight of the day is set to be the gala concert, which starts at 9pm in the Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats). The concert will feature performances from opera singers Kai Rüütel, Reigo Tamm, Raiko Raalik and Elina Netšajeva, all accompanied by the Pärnu City Orchestra.
In medieval times, June 29 was the date of one of the most important feasts of the year, marking St. Peter and Paul's Day. The tradition of celebrating Tartu City Day on June 29, was revived in 2003, and has been an annual event in Estonia's 'city of good thoughts' since then.
You can find out more information about the events happening on Tartu City Day here.
Editor: Michael Cole