National selection at 70° latitude

by Geir Oekland 60 views

To select a song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, Norway will arrange three semifinals before the national final in Oslo. These finals will be held all over the country, just as in 2006. Two of the cities are set, Stokke and Alta.

Alta is located at 70 degrees latitude North. It's the largest city in Norway's northernmost region, Finnmark, and has about 18000 citizens. Amongst the famous people from Alta are Ailo Gaup, the freestyle motorcrossrider, Mikkel Gaup, the actor and Bjørn Wirkola, one of the most famous ski-jumpers all time.

One of the 2006 Norwegian semifinals was also held in Alta, so it's not the first time the city will be the host for an ESC-arrangement.

ESC-weekend
This year the city is more prepared, and now its citizens want to make it a full weekend party. Marit Hætta Øverli is the head of the local arrangement committé, and says to Altaposten that officials are both planning to extend opening times, and remain open all night. Alongside this there are plans about lots of events in the city centre before the semifinal, which will be on Saturday 20th of January next year.

Tickets as Christmas presents
Last year it wasn't possible to buy tickets to the show outside Alta. This year it will be a lot easier to buy tickets, and Øverli is expecting a lot of visitors from the cities located around Alta. She also thinks that a ticket to the semifinal will be a very popular gift for Christmas.

Special experience
If you are planning to take part in the northernmost ESC-final, Alta can also offer you a lot more. The city is well-known for its "helleristninger" which are on the UNESCO list. Alta also boasts ruins dating back to the Stone-age. The river, Altaelva, is known as one of the best rivers in Europe to go fishing for salmon, whilst the Alta Canyon is the northernmost canyon, and has a good reputation for its natural beauty. During winter you can experience the Aurora Polaris, and there are also a lot of possibilities to explore the Sámi culture.

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