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Helsinki NYE celebrations to affect city traffic

The New Year's Eve festivities will be held next to the city's flagship library Oodi and the Music Centre.

Ilotulitus Kansalaistorilla 2017.
Fireworks display at Citizen's Square in 2017. Image: Markku Ojala / EPA

The city of Helsinki is set to host a New Year's Eve party at Citizen's Square on Tuesday evening, festivities which will cause traffic disruptions on major thoroughfares in the surrounding area, particularly between the hours of 10 pm - 1:30 am.

The city has urged partygoers to use public transport or to walk to the area.

The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) is planning to add routes to its schedule, but noted there are some exceptions and changes in store that night. HSL has advised city revellers to check bus schedules at its website Reittiopas.

A fair stretch of the city's main thoroughfare, Mannerheimintie -- along with connecting streets including Töölönlahdenkatu -- will be closed to vehicular traffic and opened to pedestrians starting at 10 pm at the latest.

The city has posted more specific information about traffic arrangements on its website (in Finnish).

Watch the fireworks from the steps of Parliament

For those who don't necessarily want to join the crowds and concert at Citizen's Square, people will be still able to view the fireworks show from vantage points like the steps of Parliament, across Mannerheimintie or along the thoroughfare itself.

The evening's event will begin with a children's concert at 5 pm, featuring a kids' fireworks display at 5:30.

Then, at 10 pm the party begins for the older set, featuring a midnight fireworks display, with performances by DJs, musicians, rappers and headlined by Finnish pop star Alma. Mayor Jan Vapaavuori is also scheduled to give a traditional New Year's speech.

Some 60,000 people are expected to attend the event this year. Last year the downtown celebration drew around 70,000 onlookers.

Yle will broadcast coverage of the festivities starting at 10:45 pm New Year's Eve on Yle TV1 and on Yle Areena.

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