Greeting the Republic of Latvia on its 105th birthday, the capital will host a solemn flower-laying ceremony and military parade, various concerts, light installations and decorations of celebration day using real fire
As usual, the celebration day on 18 November will begin with a festive church service at Riga City Hall and a solemn flower-laying ceremony at the Freedom Monument. Throughout the day, Riga residents and visitors will be able to experience the festive feeling at various concerts and events. As usual, military parade of the units of National Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior and foreign units will take place at 11. novembra krastmala.
Celebration at Freedom Square
On the evening of 18 November, everybody will be welcome at Freedom Square, where the solemn event in honour of the 105th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia will take place. Celebration day concert “Voices of nation in songs” will entertain visitors of the event at 19:00. Performance will be given by the unified men's choir conducted by Edgars Vītols. The choir and soloists Ance Krauze, Ilze Ķuzule-Skrastiņa and Rūta Dūduma-Ķirse will sing the most beautiful Latvian folk songs. New arrangements especially for this concert are prepared by the composer and pianist Jānis Strazds whose rhythm band will perform together with the choir and the soloists.
The concert will be followed by a speech by the President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs and a multimedia laser show over the Freedom Monument, which will be repeated several times during the evening until 23:00.
After the ceremony, residents are invited to the Esplanade, where they will be able to create their own unique festive brooch in an interactive video installation, created from the ornaments of Latvian regional folk costumes. At the Esplanade celebration atmosphere will be created by DJ Japānis, and hot drinks and snacks will also be available. Interactive environmental installation “My pattern” will be active throughout the celebration week until 19 November.
Fire and light installations from the evening of 17 November
On the evening of the celebration day, 18 November, the residents of Riga will be entertained by the "River of Light" real fire objects along the city canal from the Latvian National Opera to Freedom Square and near Bastejkalns. Center of the city and Old Riga will be decorated by environmental objects of fire motive. Independence Square will host the environmental design objects “Flame”, whereas, three pedestrian bridges over the canal will be turned into “Bridges of Light” as of 17 November. Environmental design objects “Latvian Gloves” will be exhibited at Doma Square.
Whereas, in Arkādijas Park, three evenings in a row, from 17 to 19 November from 18:30 to 23:00, every person interested is welcome to visit the “Garden of Light”, where the environmental light objects created by the artist Andris Eglītis and various elements of real fire will twist together with sound improvisations created by Latvian musicians. Splendid space of visual experience will be created where people feel atmospherically involved and participate in creation thereof, thus creating a sense of togetherness and deepening the experience of the statehood idea. Installation intended for the “Garden of Light” consists of three environmental art objects – circle, lighthouse and lichen, every evening, a different musical moods will be created by musicians like Elīna Silova, Kārlis Auziņš, Evija Vēbere, Maksims Šenteļevs, Jēkabs Nīmanis and others.
Other celebration events in the center and the neighbourhoods
Celebration concerts in the neighbourhoods of the city will begin as early as on the evening of 17 November. At 18:00, everybody is welcome to the Culture Centre “Imanta” to see the concert “I am from a small nation” with actors Marija Bērziņa, Gundars Grasbergs and saxophone player Raimonds Petrovskis. A little later, at 19:00, concert “There is only one Latvia” with the women's chamber choir “Cantus”, men's choir “Gaudeamus”, kokle players’ band “Balti” and choir of Class 4 of the Emīls Dārziņš Music School will take place in the concert hall “Ave Sol”.
On 18 November at 16:00, the Latgale Suburb Music and Art School hall will host the concert “Independence. Freedom. Song” with women's choir “Ausma”, men's choir “Frachori”, youth choir “Mūza” and mixed choir “Sonore” performing Latvian folk songs and original works created by Latvian composers. At 16:00, the concert “We for Latvia” to take place in the Culture Palace “Ziemeļblāzma” will present performance of the drum and bagpipe music band “Auļi”, whereas, at 17:00 in the Culture Centre “Iļģuciems”, concert “In the lights of November” will take place with the participation of the kokle player Laima Jansone and DJ Monsta. Meanwhile, in the VEF Culture Palace Great Hall at 19:00, in the concert “Latvian Impressions”, orchestra “Rīga”, State Academic Choir “Latvija” and soloists Jānis Apeinis, Jūlija Vasiļjeva and Aigars Raumanis will perform.
At 21:00, the concert programme in Riga will be closed by an event in the Riga Culture and Folk Arts Centre “The Small Guild”, where, in the concert “Burns and glows, and does not go out”, spectators will be entertained by the youth choir “Balsis”, Gundars Āboliņš and instrumental band conducted by Jānis Miltiņš.
You can find out more about the events organised by the Riga local government in honour of the Bear Slayer’s Day and the anniversary of the proclamation of Latvia at www.svetki.riga.lv, and also follow the social media site “Rīga” and “Rīgā notiek”.
Information prepared by: Sindija Grāvere, Project Coordinator External Communication Division of Riga City Council, email: firstname.lastname@example.org