Thursday, January 09, 2014

Heikinpäivä enrichment classes begin Jan. 13; register now

Leading the 2013 Heikinpäivä Parade are Hilary Virtanen (in red) and Hal Seppälä with the banner, followed by the wagon carrying last year's Hankooki Heikki, Dan Maki, who reigned over the festival. This year the parade and other main events for the 15th annual Heikinpäivä Mid-Winter Festival will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- As winter’s icy grip takes hold on the Copper Country, what better way to warm up than to bake some loaves of bread, or learn to weave, or make some beautiful music -- in preparation for Hancock's Heikinpäivä Mid-Winter Festival.

You can learn to do any of these on Monday, Jan. 13, as the 2014 Heikinpäivä enrichment programming gets under way with a trio of classes at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock.

At 2 p.m and 6 p.m., retired bakery owner Edith Maki will present "Finnish Breads -- Plain and Fancy." For a $15 fee, participants can learn to make a variety of Finnish breads from the former proprietor of Spice of Life Bakery.

At 6 p.m. that same day, fiber arts enthusiast Eileen Sundquist will share her skills in tablet weaving; folks taking that course will pay a $20 fee, which includes supplies; and participants take home a mini loom.

Also at 6 p.m., Kay Seppälä will lead a class on how to play the 5-string kantele. For a $10 fee (with instruments provided) people of all skill levels can learn to make music on the Finnish lap harp.

Kay Seppälä, instructor (musician, in foreground), and her kantele ensemble perform during the 2011 Finnish Independence celebration in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

To sign up for any of these classes, call Mary at (906) 482-1413 or email mpekkala Click here for more info about the classes.

Heikinpäivä is the annual midwinter festival created and conducted by the Finnish Theme Committee of the City of Hancock. It is sponsored by the Finnish American Reporter and Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center and Historical Archive.

More classes and family activities are scheduled for the next two weeks, leading up to the main Heikinpäivä festival day -- Saturday, Jan. 25. For detailed information about the festival, visit

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