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550 musicians in Athens for the Christmas and New Year holidays

05 December 2012 / 20:12:05  GRReporter
3901 reads

Victoria Mindova 

Athens is once again preparing to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, which this year will begin on Wednesday, 11 December. The mayor will switch on the Christmas tree lights then and the celebrations will officially begin. 550 musicians in 30 neighbourhoods of the capital and 13 cultural centres will take care of the festive mood of the residents and tourists. Despite its low budget, the Athens municipality has prepared a series of cultural events for all ages and admission to the majority of them will be free for citizens this year. "Everyone deserves to celebrate and this is our message," said the Mayor of Athens George Kaminis at a press conference.

The central Syntagma, Monastiraki and Klafthmonos squares will offer daily entertainment for children and adults. Students at the AKTO private college, who specialize in architecture and design, have helped in decorating the square in front of parliament. The young people have installed 17 Christmas trees that will decorate the garden in Syntagma.

Adding to the Christmas mood will be a "Toy-making workshop" where children will be able to make there their own toys out of cardboard, caps, plastic and newspapers as well as gifts for their peers who were not able to send a letter to Santa.

A 200-square-metre skating rink will be installed on Syntagma Square. It will be open from 11 am to 9 pm and the cost will be two euro. This is one of the few Christmas attractions organized by the municipality for which a ticket will be required. The celebrations in the centre of Athens will continue with a surprising show performed by the hockey team Athens Warriors, which will perform a short ice show for citizens.

The musical events dedicated to the Christmas and New Year holidays will start on 9 December and will continue until 4 January. They will include performances by the Athens Philharmonic Orchestra, the municipal Big Band, the folk ensemble of Athens, the mixed choir at the City Hall, children's performances, but also concerts by modern bands.

Voyage Jazz Group, ROUS One-man-band and Matoula Zamani (Ματούλα Ζαμάνη) will perform in Klafthmonos Square between 4 and 9 pm on 21 December. On Christmas Eve, the Burger Project, which is known as a cover group of diverse repertoire and comedy presence will perform in Syntagma Square.

The 25 festive days include a series of performances and celebrations for children organized by the Organization for culture, sports and youth activities of the local municipalities by regions. In three consecutive days from 19 to 21 December, Shakespeare’s play "The Tempest" will be performed for children and students for just five euro at "Anna & Maria Kalouta" cultural centre  in the Neos 

Kosmos area. Between 22 and 29 December, the world famous mime artist Roland Zee will give free performances in Syntagma Square between twelve and four o’clock in the afternoon.

For the first time, the New Year celebration will not take place in Syntagma Square but on the Aeropagitou Dionysiou pedestrian walkway under the Acropolis. "We want to show that despite the tribulations, the city remains strong. The celebration will take place at the foot of the Parthenon as a symbol of our city, culture and resilience of the people," said Kaminis. For the hour before bidding farewell to 2012, the municipality has prepared a special programme featuring the ΜΠΛΕ band and Alkiviadis Konstantinopoulos.

The mayor of Athens noted that this year, the municipality would spend only 10% of the budget spent for the organization of the Christmas holidays before the crisis. Kaminis explained that the total cost of holiday events and the decoration of the city of five million would not exceed 200 thousand euro and that there were many volunteers, who helped with the organization this year. The two major private sponsors are a telecommunication company and AKTO College, which have contributed significantly to the festive atmosphere in the city.

Tags: NewsChristmasHolidaysAthensCelebrationsConcerts
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