Estonia Celebrates 21 Years of Re-Independence
Eestlased Eestis 20 Aug 2012  EWR
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Steve Roman, ERR News
Concerts, speeches and other public events will be held throughout the nation on Monday to mark the anniversary of the day in 1991 when Estonia's former legislature, the Supreme Soviet, proclaimed the restoration of the country's independence.

The public holiday, whose name translates to Re-Independence Day, will be celebrated in the capital's Freedom Square and the adjacent Harju Hill with a concert by singers Maarja-Liis Ilus and Koit Toome, as well as the ETV Girls' Choir and the Georg Ots Music School's band. Mayor Edgar Savisaar will kick off the concert with a speech at 15:00.

Another free concert, this one by long-established urban folk band Jäääär, will begin at the Tallinn Botanic Garden at 18:00. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic baskets.

Meanwhile the newly-reopened Tallinn TV Tower will be holding a day-long program called "Do You Remember the Defense of the TV Tower in 1991?" referring to the tower's being besieged by Russian tanks at the time of the independence declaration. Performances and craft workshops for children will take place during the day, after which a limited number of people will be able to visit the tower's observation levels from 19:00 to 01:00.

Tartu will be holding its Re-Independence Day events at the site of the Kalevipoeg monument on the banks of the Emajõgi river. Speeches by Mayor Urmas Kruuse, historian Eero Medijainen and political scientist Rein Taagepera will begin at 11:00, to be followed by brass band and choir concerts.

Smaller towns will each be marking the day in their own way. Otepää, where the nation's flag was first consecrated in 1884, will be holding a Family Day at its church rectory, while Estonia's "Forest Capital" Rakvere, will be putting on an Eco-Day.
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