Itis Shopping Center in Helsinki is gearing up for a community-focused celebration to mark the start of the Christmas season this coming weekend. Embracing the spirit of local engagement, this year's festivities feature an array of activities aimed at encouraging visitors to connect with their local community.
Central to the event is the transformation of the shopping center's main square into a winter wonderland with its very own ice-skating rink.
The rink offers a chance for people of all ages to enjoy skating, either independently or through a skating school organized by Myllypuro Figure Skating Club. Minna Kaansalo, the club's coordinator, emphasizes the inclusivity and joy of the sport, noting that the magic of Christmas will be evident in both the skating school and their performances.
In addition to skating, the event features performances by Circus Magenta, known for their inclusive philosophy of "Circus for Everyone!" Silja Kyytinen, the director of Circus Magenta, highlights their commitment to being an accessible and communal space for residents, enthusiasts, artists, and anyone interested in circus arts. Located in Itis, their venue provides an excellent opportunity for the diverse population of East Helsinki to experience the joy of circus.
Christoffer Jansén, Itis Shopping Center Manager, speaks about the renewal of the Christmas opening event in line with the recent revamp of Itis. "We aim to bring together local actors to foster regional cooperation across East Helsinki," he says.
The weekend also hosts the traditional Christmas collection by Hope ry, aimed at supporting underprivileged families during the festive season.
Itis's Christmas season kickoff is scheduled for December 2 from 10:00 to 19:00 and December 3 from 10:00 to 18:00. Detailed program schedules are available on Itis's website. This event not only marks the beginning of the holiday season but also represents a concerted effort to strengthen community ties and celebrate local talents and initiatives.