Defence Forces cancel Independence Day parade

The annual event has been cancelled for a second year in a row, once again due to the Covid situation.

The annual Independence Day Defence Forces parade was last held in Tampere in 2019. Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

The Finnish Defence Forces have cancelled a planned Independence Day parade in the city of Lahti on 6 December, citing the worsening coronavirus situation.

Last year's parade, which was scheduled to take place in Pori, was also cancelled because of the pandemic.

Parade organisers had planned to include all service branches of Finland's military, including the Finnish National Defence University and the Finnish Border Guard, as well as veterans' and national defence organisations.

Lieutenant Colonel Kai Naumanen, Head of the Defence Forces' Häme Regional Office, confirmed the cancellation to Yle following initial reports by Lahti regional newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat.

Naumanen explained that the decision was made in the best interests of the Defence Forces' own staff and parade participants, as well as those of the general public.

He added that it is unlikely the parade will be held next year in Lahti, as the events are planned years in advance and changes of venue are difficult to make.