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Little Finland Game Day full of food, competition

 

Michelle Thomasini/Daily Globe

LOCAL RESIDENTS challenge one another in a game of Uno Sunday during Game Day at Little Finland in Kimball, Wis. Pictured are, clockwise from far left, Julie Abramson, Seija Jarvenpaa, Irene Vuorenmaa, Ken Hannula (partially hidden) and Bernie Hannula.

KIMBALL, Wis. - Slippery roads and single-digit temperatures didn't stop 10 local residents from gathering for games, goodies and socialization at Game Day at Little Finland in Kimball.

The event began with a viewing of video showing a 1985 midsummer celebration at Little Finland and an interview a past president had with Carl Pellonpaa of "Finland Calling."

Attendees then snacked on potluck items and visited over coffee before challenging one another in card games of Uno and smear.

Little Finland members have met for Game Day the last Sunday of January for the last several years, cultural coordinator Seija Jarvenpaa said. Past events have featured video games like Angry Birds, board games and card games, she said.

"Uno is very popular with lots of people, and smear," Jarvenpaa said.

Though the event has been offered for several years, Jarvenpaa said there are no long-standing rivalries among attendees. "We're not that competitive, actually," she said, laughing. "We all play nice."

The organization offers at least one event each month, with summer events and dances drawing the most attendees.

"It's too cold in January," Jarvenpaa said. "This is the least attended event."

She said she expects to see more people attend next month's event, Laskiainen Sliding Day, a Finnish sliding festival, set for Sunday, Feb. 9. A traditional Finnish kick-sled currently on display at Little Finland will be available for any interested attendees to take a slide on the snow around the organization's grounds.

Laskiainen will include a pea soup and kropsua (oven pancake) meal.

The group also hopes to see more attendees at its 50th anniversary celebration this summer, with events planned for Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27. Activities will include an arts and crafts day, opening ceremonies, meals, music and dancing.