Little Finland marks Laskiainen
HURLEY - It was Laskiainen on Sunday, the Finnish mid-winter sliding festival at Little Finland.
A custom in Finland, the sliding festival typically starts seven weeks before Lent and is filled with winter activities and food.
The celebration at Little Finland on Sunday was a few hours of socializing and delicious food.
Sonja Luoma, president of the National Finish American Festival Inc., organized the event and helped in the kitchen.
She said the traditional foods on the menu for the afternoon were kropsua (an oven pancake) and pea soup.
Luoma went in on Saturday to start prepping for the event on Sunday and made about 7 gallons or so of dough.
She was also in at 6 a.m. Sunday morning to begin prepping for the meal as well. All the food was made fresh.
There were about a dozen other volunteers helping with the event as well.
Luoma said mainly older folks show up for the event but every once in a while younger people and families come to use the trails behind the main building.
The trails can be used for skiing, snowshoeing or sledding. There was a traditional kick sled outside on display.
Steven Schurtter, a member of Little Finland board, takes visitors out along the trails and gives tours every Wednesday and Sunday.
Schurtter likes to make known that he is the only Swiss member of the board and that he is a great example that anyone can join, even if you are not Finnish.
He was present on Sunday enjoying the wonderful food and visiting with all the guests.
The event had a slow start, but by noon it was getting packed with people enjoying the warm food and good company.