Hanseatic Barge ready to sail on river Emajõgi

PRESS RELEASE

26.04.2006

UNIQUE EMAJÕE-PEIPSI BARGE WILL BE NAMED IN THE OFFICIAL SETTING AFLOAT CEREMONY

On Saturday, 29. April the biggest traditional wooden sailing vessel built in Estonia after the II WW will be set afloat on river Emajõgi – the 12 m long, 7 m wide Emajõe sailing barge. During the ceremony the barge will also get its name.

The festive setting afloat ceremony will start in the Small Barge Yard on river Emajõgi (Ujula Street 98) at 18.00, where during an exciting pageant the barge will be officially handed over with the tunes of an old folk song to river Emajõgi. Speeches will be held by friends and supporters of the Barge Society.

Right before the setting afloat a proper name will be chosen to the newly-made wooden ship. The name competition started in the end of March brought 605 ideas of which the representatives of Tele2, Tartu city government and Emajõe Barge Society with the help of honorary member writer Jaan Kross will make a selection. At the moment the top names are Amanda, Pigilind („Tar Bird”), Jõmm („Lout”), Katariina Jee, Lennu („after the newly deceased Estonian president Lennart Meri”), Ott, Punnpepu („Round Bottom”), Vesi Roosi, Aale, Emma, Linda, Tuule, Berta, Lora ja Adele.  The public can vote for his or her favourite in the internet portal everyday.com. On the official website www.lodi.ee it is possible to see the funniest and most original name ideas.

The winner of the name contest will get a merry barge cruise with a picnic basket from our supporter Tele2. All participants take part in a lottery.

Everybody is personally invited to participate in the setting afloat ceremony, where the barge will get a worthy name and best wishes for sailing on the river of life – for that please bring a mug for gathering the ceremonial affusion water to be poured on the barge in the ceremony.

The night will continue with a fervent party with Estonia’s best concertina players and musicians. The twilight brings the premiere screening of the Emajõe Barge movie, fire sculptures and announcing of the lottery winners. Everybody is expected to take part of the setting afloat ceremony and the party afterwards, the whole event is free.

Emajõe-Peipsi barge is a unique wooden trading sailer. Similar barges sailed Estonian inland waters for more than 600 years – from the Hanseatic times in the 14. century until the middle of the 20. century – thus greatly enhancing the thriving of Tartu city.

People interested in the rebirth of this ancient vessel gathered in the spring of 2004 into Emajõgi River Barge Society and set themselves the goal to rediscover the long-forgotten technics and build a new Emajõe-Peipsi barge. The idea was backed up by the European Union, city of Tartu, Tele2 and State Forest Management Center.

Spring 2005 marked the start of rebirth of the Emajõe Barge. The just-finished Emajõe-Peipsi Barge is the only representative of its kind in the whole world..

Additional information:

Tanel Laan, +372 55 18 386, tanellaan@historicships.ee, www.lodi.ee, www.historicships.ee.

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