Beer Floating in Helsinki

It’s that time of year again when every rubber boat in Finland is bought and taken down to the river so many people can go beer floating through Helsinki for the afternoon. The following is a post I wrote a few years ago about the annual Beer Floating event that took place this weekend. The aim was to highlight that even though the event is fun for many people who take part don’t always take responsibility for their rubbish. Keep reading to find out more.

Beer Floating in Helsinki

Beer Floating Helsinki

It wasn’t just inflatable boats and paddling pools that were seen floating down the river, there were more elaborate constructions too. Some groups must have been locked away for weeks building and preparing pontoons and ships that were large enough for ten people with patio furniture sat around a BBQ.

Halfway down the river was a rest stop where the largest crowd of beer floaters had gathered to drink and dance to the DJ tent that was set up. Here they continued to drink and party before a very small amount of them got back in their paddling pools and floated on.

Beer Floating Helsinki

Beer Floating Helsinki

Beer Floating Helsinki

There was a much larger police presence here than I had seen at other events in the city. With the high amounts of alcohol beginning consumed it was probably a good thing.

Beer Floating HelsinkiFurther down the river we sat on the rocks and watched as the floaters came by and stopped at the beach. Very little people made it this far, they had already pulled their boat out further up stream, too drunk to  continue. One group exclaimed, “We have been floating for 8 hours!”

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Beer Floating Aftermath

24 hours after the Beer Floating event I was back on the river to witness the aftermath. There was leftover boats, beer cans and rubbish in general all over the place. Most of it either still floating in the river or in piles along the footpath. As the event is not organised by the city no one is responsible for the clean up.

People were continuing their lives around it. A man is seen fishing next to a pile or deflated boats, kids used old pontoons to float down the river and jump into the water. A place that was so beautiful has been changed overnight.

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© Our Shadows Will Remain

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