Europeade 2011 - Europeade Parade!

It started as a cloudy Sunday morning, a few rain showers here and there, and the church bells started ringing precisely at 10:00am.  An Oecumenical service was being held at St. Peter's Church in Tartu to celebrate the closing of Europeade 2011.  Each section of the mass was given in a different language (Estonian, Italian, Spanish, German, English, etc.)  The international visiting choirs and musical groups performed , including my favorite Sardinian singers, the SOS de San Matteu.  Once the mass ended, everyone headed to the Town Hall Square to catch the last few performances from the Estonian groups prior to the closing ceremonies. A parade was held in procession to the festival arena, leading up to the official closing ceremonies of Europeade 2011.  The sun decided to come out just in time and we had clear skies for the rest of the day!  These photos are just a glimpse of what the parade entailed - I hope I have captured the gaiety and energy coming from everyone participating and watching in the parade (by the way, dressed up like a medieval king is the Mayor of Tartu and riding in style in the baby blue car is Mr. Bruno Peeters, president of Europeade!):

Immediately after I snapped this picture of the man in the mask from the Portuguese folklore group, he grabbed my arms and began twirling me and dancing with me in the street in the middle of the parade - such a whimsical spirit, and that was exactly what he embodied.  Again, we were lucky enough that the weather cleared just in time for the procession, and we all headed to the gates of the Festival Arena where all groups were introduced one by one to the audience, the announcer greeting them each in their mother tongue.  It was beautiful to see everyone coming together on this final day and dancing and singing!  The layout of the performances was almost identical to the opening ceremonies, but obviously with different groups this time around.  Europeade 2011 Closing Ceremonies blog post coming soon - stay tuned!