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Crowd packs Little Finland for Laskiainen


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

DINERS PACKED Little Finland Sunday for a menu of pea soup and kropsua for Little Finland's Laskiainen celebration.


KIMBALL, Wis. - They ran out of soup. With cars forced to park on the U.S. 2 shoulder and the dining hall at capacity, it was the first time in a long time organizers can remember not having enough pea soup to feed the crowd packing Little Finland Sunday for the Laskiainen celebration.

The celebration is the Finnish equivalent of a Fat Tuesday celebration, said one of the organizers, Sonja Luoma.

"It's a tradition," Luoma said. "Like the English have Fat Tuesday. This is before Lent, everyone eats their bellies full."

The soup is made with ham, carrots, onions, potatoes, a bit of barley and both split and whole peas; according to Mary Ann Marzari, who cooked the soup. Mazari said the recipe has been handed down in her family and that her mother used it before her.

Along with pea soup, Sunday's menu featured kropsua - an oven-baked pancake.

While the celebration - which translates to "sledding day" - normally features sledding with the group's kick sled, Little Finland President Ken Hannula said the warm weather meant there wasn't enough snow in the parking lot for it.

Hannula estimated close to 100 people attended the event, a higher than expected turnout.

"It looks like we had a great turnout," Hannula said. "It's amazing we ran out (of soup), we usually have plenty."


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