Thursday, January 24, 2013

Celebrate mid-winter at Heikinpäivä 2013 Jan. 25, 26

The 2012 Heikinpäivä parade heads down Quincy Street in Hancock on a snowy day with a balmy 23 degrees F. (File photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Heikinpäivä 2013 is underway to celebrate mid-winter (in case you haven't noticed the weather!) It should be a bit warmer by Saturday for the parade and main events. Unfortunately, the Polar Bear Dive has been cancelled this year for lack of a warming place. Nevertheless Heikinpäivä promises fun for the whole family.

Here is the schedule for Friday and Saturday, with some of our photos from last year:

Jim and Debbie Kurtti carry the banner of the Finnish Theme Committee, organizers of Heikinpäivä, in the 2012 Parade.

Friday, January 25

2 p.m. -- Finnish card making class, Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. 2 hour class. $15 fee.

Trio Tumpelot -- from left, Ana Gawboy, Pasi Lautala and Meghan Pachmayer -- play Finnish folk tunes in the Finlandia Gallery at the Finnish American Heritage Center during Heikinpäivä 2012. Various music groups participate in the events on Saturday, as well as playing for the annual dance.

6 p.m. -- FinnFest preview night/Heikinpäivä Dance, Brownstone Hall, Atlantic Mine, Mich. $5 cover charge, food for sale, cash bar, silent auction. Proceeds benefit FinnFest USA 2013. Call (906) 370-3110. Various musicians will play from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the Minnesota Finn Hall Band will play for dancing at 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 26

Meghan Pachmayer, left, and Anna Leppänen offer Finnish snacks for sale at the 2012 Heikinpäivä Tori in the Finnish American Heritage Center.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Tori Market, Finnish American Heritage Center and First United Methodist Church.

Carol Bird, seamstress, sells her lovely handmade items at the 2012 Heikinpäivä Tori.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Family Fun Day -- Vipukelkka (Whipsled) reindeer, kicksleds, World's Largest Kicksled, Rakovalkea (log burning), Finlandia's Quincy Green.

Kids enjoy the Vipukelkka (Whipsled) at the 2012 Family Fun Day events.

11 a.m. -- Parade, downtown Hancock. Line up at BRIDGE School at 10:30 a.m. Prizes.

Immediately following parade -- Wife-carrying contest and kicksled races, Finlandia's Quincy Green.

Contestants in the wife-carrying contest make a required stop at the sauna.

Alex Mayer and Suzanne VanDam stop for coffee during the 2012 wife-carrying contest.

Hannu and Lilli from Finland race for the Finish line ...

And Hannu and Lilli are the winners!

3 p.m. -- Open house for "Art from the Kalevala" exhibit, Community Arts Center, Hancock. Call 482-2333.*

6 p.m. -- Seisovapöytä (Finnish buffet), Zion Lutheran Church, Hancock. Tickets $18.
Silent auction during the banquet.

More photos from Heikinpäivä 2012:

Hazel Tepsa, Hankooki Heikki for 2012, rides on the giant kicksled during the parade. Each year, the Finnish Theme Committee selects one person whose work toward preserving and promoting Finnish culture in the area goes above and beyond "normal" efforts. That person is the festival's "Hankooki Heikki" and presides over the festivities, wearing the crown and robe that come with the honor. Hazel Tepsa was recognized for her many volunteer activities, including service on the Finnish Theme Committee. This year's "Hankooki Heikki" is Dan Maki, longtime history and Finnish culture professor at Finlandia University and performer in many local plays and concerts.

Kivajat Dancers and their Moomin float add color to the 2012 Parade. Moomins are favorite characters in Finnish children's literature.

Reindeer walk in the Parade and later join the Family Fun on Finlandia's Quincy Green.

Carol Williams offers her lovely handmade jewelry for sale at the Tori.

Young Suzuki musicians perform in the Finlandia Gallery just outside the Tori, in the Finnish American Heritage Center.

For more information about Heikinpäivä, visit their Web site.

* Click here to read about the "Art from the Kalevala" exhibit.

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