Today afternoon the Opening Ceremony of Junior Eurovision 2018 set to take place in Minsk, Belarus.

The 16th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will officially kick off today at the city capital of Belarus, Minsk. A record number of 20 countries will be participating , as Kazakhstan and Wales make their debut in the contest while Azerbaijan , Israel and France return to the competition.

The Opening Ceremony will start at 15:00 CET and the two hosts,  Denis Dudinsky and Anna Kviloria, will welcome the 20 nations at the BelExpo, which is set to be the venue for the opening event. The BelExpo opened in 1968 and includes two structures. The first structure is located next door to the Belarusian National Opera and Ballet, while the newer structure was opened in 1988 and has the shape from above of a  five petaled flower.

The event is expected to be spectacular including, folk music, dancing, graphics and 3D projections. The national broadcaster BTRC and responsible for organizing  Junior Eurovision this year, wants to showcase Belarus to the whole world and stated:

Through the idea of combining art, national images and symbols with innovative technologies, the show will show the historical and cultural heritage of our people and the modern Belarus

Part of the ceremony will be to determine in a random draw which country to open and close the show, while the host country will decide with its production team the accurate position each of the other countries will perform.

The 20 participating countries and their representatives are:

  • Albania – Efi Gjika – “Barbie”
  • Armenia – L.E.V.O.N – “L.E.V.O.N”
  • Australia – Jael Wena – “Champion”
  • Azerbaijan – Fidan Huseynova – “I Wanna Be Like You”
  • Belarus – Daniel Yastremski – “Time”
  • France – Angélina – “Jamais Sans Toi”
  • FYR Macedonia – Marija Spasovska – “Doma”
  • Georgia – Tamar Edilashvili – “Your Voice”
  • Ireland – Taylor Hynes – “IOU”
  • Israel – Noam Dadon – “Children Like These”
  • Italy – Melissa & Marco – “What is Love”
  • Kazakhstan – Daneliya Tuleshova – “Ozine sen”
  • Malta – Ela Mangion – “Marchin’ On”
  • Poland – Roksana Wegiel – “Anyone I Want To Be”
  • Portugal – Rita Laranjeira – “Gosto de Tudo (Já Não Gosto de Nada)”
  • Russia – Anna Filipchuk – “Unbreakable”
  • Serbia – Bojana Radovanovic – “Svet”
  • The Netherlands – Max & Anne – “Samen”
  • Ukraine – Darina Krasnovetska – “Say Love”
  • Wales – Manw – “Perta”

The Opening Ceremony will be aired live and you can watch it on the following Youtube Junior Eurovision account: