The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

 
 

By Ryan Jarvi 

Little Finland to celebrate 50 years

 

Ryan Jarvi/Daily Globe

LITTLE FINLAND'S Cultural Center, located along U.S. 2 west of Hurley, will be the site of a three-day festival celebrating the organization's 50 years of existence. The festival will run July 25-27 and will feature music, dancing and traditional Finnish food.

HURLEY - The cultural organization Little Finland will celebrate 50 years of existence with a three-day festival beginning July 25 featuring music, dances and traditional Finnish foods.

Sonja Luoma, has been president of the Little Finland board for about eight years, and has been a member of the organization off and on for more than 35 years.

She said people should attend the event "Just to have a good time."

"We're going to have really good music and fellowship," she said.

Luoma said the organization really started with the help of a cultural programs grant provided by the state of Wisconsin to erect the gift shop building.

Mark Warham, of Seattle, Wash ., one of the authors of the grant, will speak at the 50th anniversary event.

Each day of the festival will begin at 10 a.m. starting Friday, July 25.

"We're having music, the craft day is on Friday ... we're having lunch with fish stew and then we're having a talent show," Luoma said.

There will also be beginner's Finn Language Lessons and food demonstrations to make foods like cheese, pulla, or biscuits, and a Finnish pancake called kropsua.

Saturday, July 26, will feature music from the Range Community Band, a "Taste of Finland" luncheon, with traditional Finnish foods, and more music provided by Papu and Towhead of Farmington Hills, Mich ., and then Dorothy and the Boys.

Sunday will start off with spiritual services and a performance by the National Finnish American Festival Chorus, then coffee and pulla (biscuits).

More music will be provided by Finn Power with a luncheon of brats, burgers and other cookout sides to follow.

All of the events will be held at the Little Finland Cultural Center along U.S. 2, northwest of Hurley.

"We have it nice there," Luoma said of the center.

The site has three historic outbuildings, a pavilion and a walking trail.

Luoma said there will be tours of the outbuildings, which includes the Harma House, an early 20th century Finnish home that will have looms making rugs.

All three of the outbuildings have old artifacts that visitors can examine while on the tours.

Three day and single day passes can be purches for the event.

Luoma said the festival is paid for partly through donations the center received.

"We've had donations from all over," she said. "Gosh even Alaska."