The official �Awakening� welcome cocktail party for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest was held last night at the Mariinskiy Palace in Kyiv. The event was very glamorous with an outdoor reception in the grounds of the palace, with a full string orchestra and traditional dance troop performing. Almost every delegation from the contest was represented, and many national ambassadors were present. Esctoday will be carrying an exclusive picture gallery album later today.
With a real air of razzmatazz, the official opening party of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest was held at one of the premier palaces in Kyiv last night. Crowds of onlookers gathered outside the gates to the palace as guests began arriving shortly after 19:00. Reporters and camera crews lined the walk to the reception much like at the Oscars. Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus postponed their press conferences in order to ensure everyone could attend one of the main events of the week.
After a brief opening welcome and speech, a dance troop performed in front of the orchestral stage. The performance of the dance troop was based on native Ukrainian routines with sticks and swords. Dressed in a red national costume, the crowd enjoyed the show whilst sipping wine and eating canapés.
The food and drink was in plentiful supply with many tables spreading down the length of the reception. Wig Wam once again made waves spending time talking to many of the other competitors and sharing jokes with Scandinavian friends and rivals Martin Stenmarck of Sweden and Geir Rönning, the Norwegian singer representing Finland. Glam knocked the women of this year�s Eurovision Song Contest from the top of the fashion news by arriving in a lycra bodysuit with a pattern of the United States of America flag. Javine of the United Kingdom made a brief appearance.
Laura and the Lovers from Lithuania were happy to mingle with the crowds before racing back to prepare for the Baltic Party to be held at the Euroclub later in the evening. Shiri Maimon of Israel was also in attendance with the Israeli delegation, talking to fans and delighted to be asked for photographs with her growing number of fans.
The evening was rounded off by a spectacular fireworks display from beyond the balcony of the grounds. With a backdrop over the Dnepr River and stretching out across beautiful forestry to the towns in the distance, this was one welcome party that will live long in the memory.