People / culture

Summer party full of joyful reunions

Tuula Alanen 28.06.2022

On Friday the third of June, the atmosphere in sunny Helsinki was brimming with excitement. This day had been a long time coming: the first summer party in three years! Restaurant Kaivohuone was packed with happy faces, as we got to see each other on a larger scale after a long time and also meet our colleagues who came from other cities.

Nearly 400 of our employees came from all over Finland to celebrate the start of summer in a casino-themed get-together. Currently, we have over 600 employees, and that number is growing so quickly that it may well be outdated at the time of the publication of this text. People were very excited to get together, although some had to travel quite a long way to be able to meet their colleagues. 

Amongst the guests, there were well-dressed gentlemen with bowler hats, bow ties and braces, ladies in evening dresses and casino tourists in Hawaiian shirts. Those with a keen eye may even have spotted a couple of James Bonds! Everyone had invested in their attire as they best saw fit, each to their own style.

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Our Managing Director Petri Lillberg gave the opening speech at the party, and he seemed visibly thrilled as he went over the recent big news.

Hosting and providing entertainment for the evening was magician and mentalist Xavier Crow, who truly got the people’s heads spinning. Many were absolutely gobsmacked as Crow walked amongst the guests performing one astounding magic trick after the other.

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So many of us got to meet some of our colleagues and even teammates for the first time ever face to face, having only looked at each other’s faces on screens during remote meetings. Our company has grown by over 200 people since the previous big party in 2019, so there were a great many new colleagues in our ranks. 

In discussions over glasses of wine, people seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief over how nice it was to get to actually see people instead of sitting at home having a remote meeting. You could almost taste the yearning people had had for meeting others and having face-to-face discussions: the air was alive with a choir of happy voices. The dance, song and discussions seemed to continue right from where they had left off three years ago. For a moment, it seemed as if there had never been a pandemic – and that’s only a good thing!

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The casino tables were buzzing through the evening, as those who dared to play tried their luck in card games. One of the undeniable highlights of the evening was Teflon Brothers, whose famous party hits really got the crowd going. Here, too, everyone did it their own way: some of us jumped up and down in the front and danced like there was no tomorrow while others vibed out in a more laid-back fashion. 

The voices and laughter soared loudly both from the casino tables and the terrace late into the night. The most enthusiastic of us continued the party down in Apollo, while others left Kaivohuone for their home bed or hotel room. Wild rumors tell of dazzling metal performances in the wee hours in karaoke bar Apollo, but we unfortunately have no video footage of this. 

Have a nice summer – see you again at the next party!

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Photos: Minna Rossi

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Tuula Alanen

Tuula Alanen