Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hilary Virtanen to speak on Heikki Lunta folklore Jan. 24

HANCOCK -- Join Hilary Virtanen, PhD candidate in Folklore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Finnish American Heritage Center public programming coordinator, as she tells the story of the life and times of Heikki Lunta, the Finnish American Snow God. The event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

Created in 1970 in a song advertising a snowmobile race, Heikki Lunta rapidly became a fixture in regional folklife. With a body of songs, multiple festivals, and in-group communications about the Snow God now in existence, Heikki Lunta means many things to many people.

Virtanen will explore how regional history, Finnish ethnicity and UP interethnicity, and the development of the tourism industry have all contributed to Heikki Lunta and why he holds such a place of begrudging honor in Copper Country public life. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 487-7505.

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