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Finland’s 100th Independence Day Celebration in Duluth to
Celebrate Finnish Culture and Honor Local Finnish Veterans
“Everyone is a Finn on December 6” — Free Event
Duluth, MN – The Finlandia Foundation Northland Chapter invites the public to join in a special celebration: Finnish Independence Gala to honor Finland’s 100th Anniversary, held at the Duluth Depot, on December 6, from 5:00-8:30 pm. The event is free and open to all.
The event kicks off with an opening of Finnish-American Art Exhibit “Together – Yhdessä”, held in Steffi Gallery at the Duluth Art Institute (second floor of the Depot).
The official program will take place between 6:30-7:30 pm and includes greetings from Mayors of Duluth and Superior, honoring of decorated Finnish veterans, reading of greetings from the President of Finland, live traditional Finnish music and more. (Details below)
The night of the event the City of Duluth will also honor Finland by lighting Enger Tower in blue and white. All Northlanders are encouraged to light two candles and place them on a window sill to honor their ties to Finland. “You might have a relative, a friend or a co-worker that is proud of their Finnish heritage or have no personal connection to Finns or Finland at all. Regardless, we want to make sure everyone can be part of this day, honoring the country and its people. Everyone is a Finn on December 6,” says Steve Leppälä, the President of Finlandia Foundation Northland Chapter.
Complimentary refreshments (coffee from Finland) and appetizers, inspired by Finland, will be served at this family friendly event. The event is open to the public with free parking located next to the Depot at the time of the event. Dress code is business casual. Attendees are invited to wear Finnish national costumes.
The event will receive special media attention, as it will be covered by the most read Finnish media, Iltasanomat. The newspaper will send its international correspondent to Duluth specifically to cover the event.
The Finnish Independence Gala is organized by Finlandia Foundation Northland Chapter, a group of area Finns and Finnish-Americans. Funding for the event is provided by individuals and businesses in Duluth area as well as Finlandia Foundation National, which provides scholarships and support for Finnish music and cultural activities throughout the year.
FINLAND 100 EVENT DETAILS
5:00 pm Opener of art exhibit “Together – Yhdessä”, curated by Angel Sarkela-Saur and Marlene Wisuri, will feature the work of 50 area Finnish-American artists working in a variety of media. The artists include David Salmela, Lenore Lampi, Carl Gawboy, Patty Salo Downs, and many others. The exhibit is named after worldwide Finland 100 anniversary theme.
· Free Finnish-style refreshments and appetizers are served, including Pulla (cardamom bread) made by local food expert and author Beatrice Ojakangas
· Live traditional Finnish music will be performed by nine-person Finnish-American band Kuuma Sampo
6:30-7:30 pm Official Program – with emcee Hanna Erpestad
· Greetings from Mayor Emily Larson (Duluth) and Mayor Jim Paine (Superior)
· Reading of the Independence Day greetings from the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö
· Honoring of Finnish veterans: Mr. Rainer Mäkirinne (will attend), Ms. Suoma Sibilla Joutsi (will attend), Mr. Yrjö Kaarlo Johannes Gronquist (not able to attend) Ms. Tyyne Lothberg (not be able to attend), who fought for Finland during World War II. Last year Mäkirinne, Joutsi and Gronquist received a special award from the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö: The first class medal of the Order of the White Rose of Finland for their military merit during WWII.
· Finnish poem reading by Duluth poet Sheila Packa
· Sing-along and language lesson with Finnish children’s “Suomi Kerho” group
A Finland 100 Yhdessä Northland Event.
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