Hats off to many
After a two-year hiatus the Finnish Theme Committee of Hancock, hosts of Heikinpäivä, wondered if we could once again rally the energy and community interest in another celebration. Rather than wonder, we put one foot in front of another and on the 28th of January we pulled off another great Mid-Winter festival.
Our small and aging cadre of volunteers couldn’t have possibly done it alone, but the Copper Country, as well as friends from far and near, stepped up to make our Heikinpäivä festival a success. We want to extend a heartfelt Kiitos to everyone who lent support, provided facilities, hung our posters, wore our costumes and participated in our events.
In particular, we acknowledge the support of Finlandia University, including the Finnish American Heritage Center, North Wind Books, the Finlandia Baseball team and the maintenance and housekeeping departments, in particular, Lynnaya Funmaker, Matt Dompier, Brad Bonini and the Dutch student Femke Van Elsacker. Likewise, we appreciate the financial and other support of the City of Hancock, particularly the Department of Public Works. We also thank the Copper Country Community Arts Center, Copper Country Intermediate Schools, the Calumet Theatre, Copper Island Academy, United Methodist Church of Hancock, Hancock Rotary, Houghton County Sheriff’s Department, Hancock Business & Professional Association and the MTU Pep Band.
Also, a special thanks to Amy, Taryn and Kendall Mäki, Harri Kurtti, Kevin and Linnea Nurmi, Aarne Saarinen, Christian, Stephanie, Holden and Lila Kurtti, Penny Trevorrow, Steve Walton, Bill and Toni White, and Todd Van Dyke.
We were especially honored to have our Ukrainian community members and their supporters join in our parade and tori market. Their borscht and varenyky (filled dumplings) were a huge hit with all proceeds from their sales going to support war relief efforts in Ukraine.
It’s my conviction that Heikinpäivä’s success, in great part, lies in the fact that it invites everyone to participate in the festival, rather than be a spectator. Despite the success of Heikinpäivä 2023, it was a lot of work. More work than a small group of senior citizens can continue to do. We invite the public to participate in finding a solution for future Heikinpäiväs. Our next public meeting is March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center.
With heartfelt appreciation on behalf of the committee,