They Make Parties For Children

[WED APR 19 2017; B8; ’He tekevät lapsille juhlat’, Pirjo-Liisa Niinimäki]


Swedish dance and circus group Clair Parsons Company is the main performer of Hippalot in August. PHOTO: Mats Åsman


Children’s festival Hippalot turns 40.


The children’s art festival Hippalot is held in Hämeenlinna for the 40th time. Therefore, this year’s theme is celebration.

– Birthday parties and Christmas are highlights of every year for children. We’re making the festival into a giant birthday party for them, says executive producer Riikka-Leena Puistola.

We’re not publishing the whole program just yet, but we do know the name of this year’s festival café is PomPom. The name comes from the big, whisklike ornaments used to decorate the café.

The designer working as an intern, Noora Rosenberg, is the one who designed the look of the café, and now art educators from the children’s culture center Arx are making pom pom ornaments and other party props.


The main performer of the event is the Swedish dance and modern circus group Claire Parsons Company. The show performed on the Hämeenlinna Theater main stage is called And Then.

In the show, four characters attempt to tell the story in their own ways, but are constantly interrupted. Magic, humor, and help for the audience are all needed to finish the story.

– There is no dialogue in the performance. But when the group previously visited Finland, they had learned some Finnish for the parts with audience participation.

An evening concert is also held at the usual Vanaja stage. This time there is no need to sit down the whole time. DJ Kikattava kakkiainen (Gigglebug) and MC Citykani (City Rabbit) make the festival audience dance at the Disco of Gigglebug.

– It goes well with the birthday and celebration theme, and is suitable for children of all ages, Puistola explains.

Gigglebug is an animation series directed at children in pre-school and elementary school. Games, books, and, most recently, a CD have also been published. Gigglebug won the children’s album of the year Emma award. The series is the largest Finnish animation production, and it is translated into 13 different languages.

Tickets for the main concert and the circus performance are now for sale. The rest of the festival program is published in May.


Preparations for Finland’s longest-running art festival are done by the team of seven at Arx: three culture producers and four art educators. A technical producer and several summer workers are also participating in the preparations.


Children’s festival Hippalot

at Hämeenlinna Verkatehdas on August 3.-6. 2017.


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