HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now offers our readers a new slide show -- Heikinpäivä 2015 -- with photos of the parade, wife-carrying competition, kicksled races, Tori markets, Polar Bear Dive and Community Arts Center art exhibits. Find the slide show near the top of our right hand column and click on any photo to access the slide show.*
Heikinpäivä is the annual Finnish-American mid-winter celebration in Hancock.
Videos of Heikinpäivä Jan. 31, 2015, highlights
Michigan Tech's Pep Band adds a lively atmosphere to the parade on Quincy Street in Hancock:
Riding atop "Big Louie," known in Hancock as "arguably the world's largest kicksled," is the Hankooki Heikki winner for 2015, Reuben Niemistö, who presides over the festivities. Each year someone who has contributed to the preservation and enhancement of Finnish-American cultural life in Michigan’s Copper Country is chosen as Hankooki Heikki. Niemistö, a longtime board member and past president of the Hanka Homestead near Askel, has devoted many of his nearly nine decades of life to sharing Finnish cultural traditions, especially those from the more distant past.
After the parade, the wife-carrying competition, a Finnish tradition, is held on the Quincy Green. This year a couple from Finland came in second place. Here they are in action:
Olli and Heli encourage their daughter Pihla to speak to the TV6 reporter after the wife-carrying contest. Their younger daughter, Lumi, was also interviewed (see slide show). Pihla also participated in the kicksled race (see below).
Kids take off for one of the kicksled races. Pihla is second from right in the lineup.
Here is a video clip of the runoff race among top kicksledders ...
For more photos see our slide show.
* You can go directly to the slide show page by clicking here. Then click on "slide show" in the upper left corner.