Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Heikinpäivä 2018 is underway!

The bears that "roll over" in mid-winter sometimes lead the Heikinpäivä Parade on Quincy Street in Hancock. At 11 a.m. this Saturday, Jan. 27, the 2018 Heikinpäivä Parade will also feature KARHUN PEIJÄISET (The Bear Spiral) on Quincy Green, led by Ralph and Jaana Tuttila and the Bears. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HANCOCK -- Heikinpäivä 2018 celebrates Mid-Winter, when, according to Finnish tradition, "the bear rolls over." This year the annual festival, created in 1999 by the City of Hancock's Finnish Theme Committee, again offers a variety of activities for the whole family. Heikinpäivä themes are taken from the Finnish folk saying associated with the name day for Heikki (Henrik’s day, Jan. 19).

Each year the Finnish Theme Committee selects a Hankookin Heikki (The Heikki of Hancock), who then presides over the Heikinpäivä festivities. Chosen because of his/her contributions to the preservation and enhancement of Finnish-American cultural life in Michigan’s Copper Country, Hankookin Heikki’s main event task is to ride what is the arguably the world’s largest kick sled, a crowd favorite at Heikinpäivä, donning the traditional Hankooki Heikki robes and crown, and waving the copper scepter in the festival’s mid-winter parade.

The 2018 Hankookin Heikki is filmmaker Kristin Ojaniemi, a lifelong resident of Bruce Crossing. Ojaniemi recently created the documentary film Co-operatively Yours, telling the story of the Finnish cooperative movement in North America through the lens of the Settlers Co-op in Bruce Crossing, which celebrated its centennial in 2017. Ojaniemi traveled to Finland to conduct research and interviews for the film, and through this project she has gained a stronger appreciation and understanding of her Finnish roots and those of her home community. (Inset photo: Filmmaker Kristin Ojaniemi. (Photo courtesy Finnish Theme Committee)

While enrichment events have been happening since Jan. 10 (see our right-hand column for the the music events this week), Saturday, Jan. 27, offers free activities for all and a Tori (market) with homemade and Finnish-related crafts for sale.

Here is the schedule beginning with Saturday, Jan. 27:

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Tori Market, Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC)
 

HEIKINPÄIVÄ 2018 -- TORI MUSIC MAKERS in FAHC

10 - 11 a.m. -- Finn Aire (Roger Juntunen-Hewlett)
11 -11:30 a.m. -- PARADE and KARHUN PEIJÄISET (The Bear Spiral) on Quincy Green, led by Ralph and Jaana Tuttila and the Bears.
11:30 a.m. - Noon -- Lautala Boys (Pasi Lautala)
Noon -  1 p.m. - Jonathan Rundman
1 - 2 p.m. -- Laulun Aika (Ralph Tuttila)
2 -  2:30 p.m. -- Jouhikko Kombo (Alice, Matt and Clare)
2:30 - 3:00 p.m. -- Tanja Stanaway


Fun outside on Quincy Green:

Kids enjoy a ride on the vipukelkka (whipsled) during Heikinpäivä in Hancock. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  -- Vipukelkka (Whipsled), kicksleds, and plenty of outdoor fun! Quincy Green.


11 a.m. - PARADE, downtown Hancock. Line up at La Cantina restaurant at 10:30 a.m. Prizes.


Following parade -- Wife-carrying contest and kicksled races, Quincy Green. Prizes.


No lingering at the café! Couldn't tell what the "wife" was yelling here, for lack of translation, but she managed to stay on hubby's back through the "Finnish" line. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

More activities Saturday:

11 a.m.  -- Author talk and book signing by Karl Bohnak, author of SunBurns to Snowstorms, North Wind Books, Hancock.

1 p,.m.  -- Author talk and book signing by Kate Remlinger, author of Yooper Talk, Finnish American Historical Archive.


3 p.m. -- Polar Bear Dive, Hancock waterfront. Sponsored by Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.


7 p.m. -- Heikinpäivä iltamat (hors d’oeuvres, dance), Finnish American Heritage Center. $12.00 -- with old-time Finnish dances, such as jenkka, raatikkoon, polkka and waltzes.


Sunday, January 28:

 
2 p.m. -- Finnish Hymn Sing and Concert, Zion Lutheran Church, Hancock. Open to the public.


Friday, February 2:

 
6:30-8:30 p.m. -- Family Fun Night, Finnish American Heritage Center. $5 per family. For information, call (906) 523-6271.

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