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Latvia сelebrates 94th birthday

A military parade in Riga. Photo: Edijs Palens/LETA.
 Today, November 18, is the birthday of Latvia. 94 years ago nationally minded politicians gathered in Second Riga City Theater (now known as National Theater) and proclaimed the Republic of Latvia. Its a key date in Latvian history, Latvians took important step to proclaim their country.

Multitude of special events nationwide to mark Latvia’s 94th birthday. A military parade in downtown Riga, the president’s address to the nation, and a spectacular fireworks display are the main highlights on Sunday, November 18, a day chock full of events to mark the 1918 Declaration of Independence.

In tune with the address to the nation by Andris Bērziņš from the Freedom Monument at 19.20, "Latvijas Koncerti" has coordinated concerts in regional cities - Liepāja, Valka, Jēkabpils un Daugavpils.

"Four Latvias" in Liepāja will star the city’s symphony orchestra (Atvars Lakstīgala, conductor) and a sterling lineup of soloists - Elīna Šimkus, Inga Šļubovska, Jānis Apeinis, Rihards Mačanovskis and Līga Baltābola. In Valka, the Vidzeme Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Andris Veismanis, with Guntars Freibergs (marimba), Mārtiņš Circenis (clarinet), Rūdolfs Miķelsons (violin). The Jēkabpils concert will feature the Kaunas Symphony Orchestra (conductor - Imants Resnis) and soprano Sonora Vaice. Daugavpils will hear its own chamber orchestra (led by Aivars Broks), and the vocal ensemble "Framest".

In the National Theater – home of the Declaration of Independence, saluting Latvia will be a wide array of performers along with the Riga Dome Choral School’s girls choir, under the direction of Aira Birziņa, and the National Opera Orchestra (Mārtiņš Ozoliņš).

Independence Day will start at 9 a.m. with a service in Dome Cathedral, which will be followed by a ceremonial placing of wreaths and bouquets at the foot of the Freedom Monument. At 3 p.m., on the 11.novembra krastmalā riverside drive, the National Armed Forces on parade.

Right after the president’s address in the evening, the thousands gathered riverside and elsewhere across the country (and Latvian "colonies" abroad) will join together in singing the national anthem, then, fireworks will light the sky over the Daugava, capping the eventful celebration.

On 18 November throughout the day there are various events across Latvia. In Riga celebration begins on the first half of the day with the parade and laying of flowers at the Freedom Monument with participation of the President of Latvia and other top government officials.

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