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Independence Day events to affect traffic

Independence Day events will affect traffic on Tuesday in Helsinki's city centre between 11 am and 8 pm. In addition to parades and demonstrations, the annual President's Independence Day Reception, which Yle News will be covering live, is on the day’s event roster.

Helsinki's Presidential Palace hosts the evening's biggest party. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Processions, celebrations, demonstrations, and counter-demonstrations will affect traffic in Helsinki on Tuesday.

For the President’s annual Independence Day Reception, Mariankatu street near the Presidents Palace will closed off to traffic as guests arrive and depart.

Yle News will be covering the Reception, with updates on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and Instagram at #linnanjuhlat.

The annual Reception -- this year marks 99 years of Finnish independence -- is followed by more than 2 million people via live television broadcasts.

Other traditional events include the university students torchlight procession through Helsinki, which departs from Hietaniemi Cemetary at 5 pm and moves along the streets of Hietaniemenkatu, Arkadiankatu, Mannerheimintie, Pohjoisesplanadi, Mariankatu, and Aleksanterinkatu to its final destination of Senate Square. Trams running along Aleksanterinkatu street will be affected by the procession.

Protests and counter-demonstrations

The largest demonstrations include the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement demonstration, which starts at 3:30 pm at Hakaniemi Market Square and heads through Kaisaniemi towards Senate Square. A counter-demonstration against the neo-Nazis starts at 2:30 pm at the Helsinki Railway Station and will head towards Kaisaniemi.

Helsinki police chief Seppo Kujala says the police will be monitoring both events to ensure safety and order.

Police are recommending that motorists avoid driving in the city centre on Tuesday and caution that some of the demonstrations may veer from their planned routes.

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