Presidential Visit Sept 2017

A Presidential Visit to Minnesota

Finland’s President, His Excellency Sauli Niinistö, and First Lady of Finland Jenni Haukio In Minneapolis

This unique Presidential visit is surely one you don’t want to miss.

You’re invited to join us in welcoming Finland’s President, His Excellency Sauli Niinistö, and First Lady of Finland Jenni Haukio to Minneapolis, September 21-23, 2017. 

Presidential Visit by Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio
Image courtesy of Jenni Gästgivar
Minnesota has the distinction of being the only Finnish American community that the President will visit this year to celebrate Finland 100. He comes to commemorate and salute the Finnish Diaspora, as well as Minnesota’s strong links to Europe’s Nordic countries. We, in turn, have created a program that connects him to major elements of Minnesota’s civic society. We are honored that he has chosen to visit us and take part in FinnFest activities. Please help us recognize him and the Republic of Finland at all of these public events during FinnFest:

Presidential Visit Background

Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, Sauli Väinämö Niinistö, then Chairman of the City Council of Salo, Finland, and member of the Finnish Parliament and Nordic Council, visited Minnesota as part of the growing sister city partnership between St. Anthony Village, Minnesota, and Salo, Finland.

April 14, 1992. Dave Abrahamson, George Marks, and Helen Glotzbach meet with Sauli Niinistö. Image courtesy of NorthEaster

Finland 100 Celebration Ties to Presidential Visit

On September 21, 2017, as part of Finland 100, the year-long centennial anniversary of Finland’s independence, President Niinistö returns to Minneapolis, accompanied by his wife, Jenni Haukio. Read the  President’s Visit press release.

He will participate in FinnFest 2017, the national festival of Finns and Finnish Americans, and he will attend the Minneapolis Orchestra’s special concert celebrating the Finnish centennial, directed by Maestro Osmo Vänskä. He will also speak at a luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Minnesota and Global Minnesota.

On Saturday, September 23, President Niinistö will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Minnesota.

Independent Finland is 100 years old this year. The Finnish Diaspora in Minnesota and the region celebrate this achievement and all the fond memories, enduring relationships and learning through the years. It is a proud time to be a Finn, a fan and friend of Finland, or share the Finnish heritage.

Last December 6, Finland’s 99th Independence Day, President Niinistö wrote to Finns around the world, “In a continuously changing world, we cannot achieve absolute safety, but through cooperation, we can do much to push the cycle in a more peaceful direction. In this task, every initiative tending towards peace is important …You, expatriate Finns, are important ambassadors for Finland, spreading the word about the uniqueness of our country.”

The entire Finnish community is honored to welcome President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio to Minnesota in September. Their visit is a great tribute to the vibrancy of Finnish culture in Mid-America.


President of Finland

Sister City St Anthony Village, MN

St Anthony, MN / Salo, Finland Sister City Association, Inc

FinnFest USA


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