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10 years of fun

Finn Fun Day at Negaunee Township Hall Saturday

Music is performed by Ken Holster on banjo and Tanja Stanaway on accordion at a previous Finn Fun Day. (Photo courtesy of Margo Rantanen)

NEGAUNEE — The 10th annual Finn Fun Day will take place on Saturday at the Negaunee Township Hall, 42 State Highway M-35, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m.

All are welcome, there is plenty of parking, and there is no admission charge. Food will be served, and entertainment and the Tori (market) will happen during the entire event.

The Opening Ceremony at 11 a.m. begins Finn Fun Day with words of welcome by Finlandia Foundation National Lake Superior Chapter president Ron Hill. Tanja Stanaway will lead the singing of the American and Finnish national anthems, accompanied by Pauline Kiltinen on keyboard. Words to the Finnish anthem will be provided.

Entertainment follows, starting with Aaren Joki who will sing songs in Sami, the language of Finnish Lapland, including some “yoiking,” a unique way of singing in Sami. Howard Aalto, a newcomer to Finn Fun Day, will follow, playing a six-sided harmonica. Gloria Alexander will give a short presentation, and will be available all day for assistance with researching genealogy.

Michael Prusi, director of the governor’s Northern Michigan office in Marquette, will bring greetings from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of Finn Fun Day. A special birthday cake will be cut and shared with all the people attending.

Aaren Joki is seen performing with one-stringed johikko he made at a previous Finn Fun Day. (Photo courtesy of Pauline Kiltinen)

Then Paul Knivilla, another newcomer to the Finn Fun Day stage, will sing.

Olli Romppanen and Riika Kotliainen, interns from Finland working at the Finnish American Heritage Center, will speak about their work and experiences in Hancock at Finlandia University. Olli is in the office of The Finnish American Reporter with Honorary Finnish Counsel James Kurtti. Riika works in the Archives with Archivist Joanna Chopp.

Wilho Kilpela, well-known accordionist, will offer a sample of his music. Rounding out the day will be Tanja Stanaway and Ken Holster, also a well-known duo, on accordion and banjo. Tanja will both play and sing.

Entertainment will finish at 3 p.m.

Five vendors this year will staff the Tori which will be open all day long. Among the booths on Finn Fun Day are Tanja Stanaway’s Heart to Finland, and Janet Wisuri’s Home Baked Goods.

Baltic Inspirations, an Upper Peninsula business featuring beautiful knit clothing from Estonia, will be there, staffed by owner Avelin Yost. A variety of Finnish items will be available through Finn Sight, with Anna Leppanen at their Tori table. Aaren Joki’s woodworking art, Metsami Creations, will also be sold at the festival.

A White Elephant Table will again be part of Finn Fun Day, including a section for Christmas decor this year. It could use items. Bring them to the Negaunee Township Hall between 4 and 5 p.m. Friday or by 10 a.m. Saturday. No clothing will be accepted.

There will be items for viewing and bidding at a silent auction table. A 50/50 drawing will be held twice during the day.

Coffee and “pulla” (cardamom-flavored coffee bread) will be available all day long at the kitchen window. In addition, lunch foods will also be available throughout the day, served by Steven Perry of UP Dogs.

Finn Fun Day is sponsored by the Finlandia Foundation National Lake Superior Chapter. Note: This is a recent change in name. Formerly it was known as the League of Finnish-American Societies UP Chapter Finlandia Foundation Affiliate. Memberships can be purchased on site.

For more information on Finn Fun Day, call 906-226-7085 or check out the FFN Lake Superior Chapter on Facebook.