Kokkola’s Venetian Night Festival
A celebration of water, fire and light
According to a century-old tradition, the summer cottage communities and coastal residents of the Kokkola area conclude the summer season with the Venetian Night Festival. This tradition was born towards the end of the 19th century among the wealthy villa communities of the Gulf of Bothnia, and particularly in the Kokkola area.
Venetian Night Festival 27.8.2022 at the market square
The Venetian Night Festival also includes program at the market square on Saturday, with program for children and a singalong. There are also bouncy castles and other activities for children. Program at the market square from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm.
Program at the market square
9.30 Laula kanssain-singalong with Finnish evergreens, conductor/pianist Jari Puhakka
10.45 Children’s concert, Sävelsaari
11.20 Circus performance, circus artist Helmi Malinen
11.30 Miss Kokkola award ceremony, model agency Matiné
12.00 The traditional rowing competition Suntin soutu
12.30 National Police Day event
12.45 Late summer jam session, Sävelsaari
Also at the market square
* merry-go-round and bouncy castles for children
* local church stand, activities for children and families
* National Police Day event and equipment presentation: quad bike, motorcycle and patrol car. Tasks for children
* presentation of the local theatre
* marketplace vendors
Evening celebration at the event park
This year the city of Kokkola has handed over the arrangements of the evening celebration to Original Sokos Hotel Kaarle through an arrangement. The evening celebration takes place on the 26-27 August 2022 in the new Kokkola event park. The list of artists is extensive, including the brilliant Behm, the very successful locally born artist Jannika B, the interesting cooperation Maustetytöt X Agents and JVG, the band that always brings the best party. Go to the link in the upper right corner for more info.
To begin with, it was fine to mark the festival on any day in August. The most important thing was that it took place during the darkening summer evenings. In this way, the special feature of the celebrations – the play of light and fire on the surface of water – was best on display.
The Venetian Night Festival featured extensive and varied lighting effects in the different villas. Bonfires, lanterns, tar pots and even fireworks were used to light up the darkening summer evenings. Indeed, the name itself refers to fireworks. In the 1500s and 1600s, the art and technology of fireworks was brought to Europe via Italy, and the new phenomenon was named ‘Venetian fire’ after the Italian city of Venice, which was a centre of trade at the time.
A standard form for the Venetian Night Festivals gradually took shape, and the celebration began to be always held on the last Saturday of August. As the villa residents moved to their urban apartments in late August or early September, the Venetian Night Festival became established as the closing celebration for the villa season.
The last Saturday of August is the moment for the magnificent culmination of the holiday season on the west coast. The darkening evening, the water and fire are the elements that conjure up an unparalleled, rich atmosphere at the closing celebrations of the summer season for the thousands of villas and summer cottages.
As summer cottages become more widespread, the Venetian Night Festival has come to be enjoyed by an ever broader range of people. These days, the fires of the Venetian Night Festival form a ribbon stretching several kilometres along the coast through the Kokkola summer cottage areas.
In recent years, the celebration of the Venetian Night Festival has expanded to cover the whole weekend. This event, held always on the last Saturday of August, has over the years become the largest public summer event in Kokkola – one which brings together thousands of people.