There was real magic in the air at the Venetian Night Festival in Vantaa.
This was a long-awaited gathering. The active residents of three Lumo buildings in Veromies chose the last weekend of the summer as the date for the celebrations. It turned out to be an excellent, hot weekend for saying farewell to the summer.
With around 70 residents taking part in this first yard festival in the neighbourhood, the party was a great success, which means this may become a tradition and continue in the future.
The festival was brought to life by the universal language of food.
“There’s no better way of getting to know each other than by sharing a meal,” says Kari Keinänen, who moved into the building from Muonio, Lapland, a couple of years ago.
Lumo Building Managers Maria Pottonen and Janet Heiman carry an armful of pizza boxes to the club room. Tarja Leppänen,the leader of the Veromies Lumo team and the person who came up with the Venetian Night Festival idea, makes coffee, serves doughnuts, candies and drinks.
The grill is hot. Grill master for the event is Markus Mannila, who is also a Lumo resident.
Homes in the Aerola area
The Veromies Lumo rental homes are located in as special place right next to the airport. Older people know the area as the former Aerola, buildings designed by Alvar Aalto.
Currently, the area is better known as Aviapolis due to the workplaces around Helsinki Airport and the Ring Rail Line stop.
This area is close to nature, although it only takes a couple of minutes by train to take a flight anywhere in the world.
Even the bird of the wilderness, the raven, nests in the safe area surrounding the airport. Hawks, wood pigeons and deer are familiar to joggers.
“It takes half an hour to travel to the city centre of Helsinki by train. The bus stop is right in front of my door. I sold my car when I moved here,” says Tarja Leppänen.
The ‘corner shop’ for residents is Shopping Centre Jumbo-Flamingo, which offers everything. Leppänen has measured that it takes 6,000 steps to get to Jumbo. This means a 15-minute walk, depending on the pace.
A new home in the same yard
The buildings in the Veromies area were built during the last decade. In December 2022, new Lumo homes will be completed at Pyhtäänkorventie 15f.
This will be the new home for Anna and Denis and their children. Diana, who is 6 years old, was thrilled with the bouncy castle at the Venetian Night Festival.
“We have enjoyed this area already for a couple of years, but we needed more room for growing our family. It’s so great that we could continue to live in the same yard area,” says Anna.
Veronika Teräs’ family is also dreaming of one extra room. For now, 4-year old Arran and his 14-year old big brother have to share a room.
Arran and his friends are catching soap bubbles, his brother is on a basketball trip in his mother’s country of origin, Estonia. “There is tension sometimes in the boys’ room, but luckily all the friends and hobbies are close by. We used to live in the centre of Leppävaara. It’s nice and quiet here, and there is no aircraft noise,” says Veronika Teräs.
Silja Arokari lives with her spouse in a two-room apartment of 58 square metres. The couple appreciate the location and layout of their home. They both feel they can enjoy their own privacy while their work, studies and hobbies are nicely intertwined.
“It was easy to get the apartment. We just placed this one in the shopping basket on the Lumo website, went to see it after a couple of days and that was it.”
“The absolute best thing about this area is the forest. I just open my door and I can take my dog for a run.”
Songs from Finnish artist on the playlist
Songs played over the speakers encourage even the shyest residents to join the festival – the rhythm takes over and your hands start clapping. You can also party with a wheelchair in this spacious yard.
The residents had a chance to request songs from DJ Terhi Sakara.
Songs by Matti ja Teppo, naturally, and some by Ressu Redford and Ville Valo. Even songs by David Bowie, which suit the magical evening well. Smaller residents enjoy Kikattava Kakkiainen.
“This was a great idea! When residents know each other, there are fewer issues between them,” Sakara points out.
Organised by the Lumo homes super team
Maria Pottonen and Janet Heiman belong to the local unit of Lumo homes with three building managers, who stand in for each other and help.
This super team ensures that things are done efficiently. The ladies responsible for organising things are sitting on the corner of a flower box and enjoying a slice of pizza.
The Lumo team is all about cooperation. “The Venetian Night Festival was organised by the residents precisely to lift the community spirit and promote comfort in the area,” says Pottonen.
In a large housing company, it is obvious that things happen. Smart building management and the residents’ own initiative have done the trick.
Mopeds causing a disturbance near Vantaa Vocational College Varia have been brought under control and speed bumps are now slowing down cars. We have great smoking areas on the plot, but some ‘guidance’ is still needed at times,” says Tarja Leppänen. Nevertheless, she characterises the neighbourhood as comfortable and harmonious.
The shared yard party attracts people of all ages, and of all cultures. Children speak a universal language – language of play and laughter.
This is like a dream, sighs a small girl with her eyes shining. Even the adults were amazed when the fire dancers performed in the pleasantly warm August evening.
Terhi Sakara played the last request from the residents in the velvety evening.
It was Vesa-Matti Loiri’s Lapin kesä. Naturally.
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