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Finlandia to celebrate 125th Anniversary, Juhannus in June

May 31, 2022

Juhannus

A year of anniversary celebrations will culminate in late June at Finlandia University, as the 125-year-old institution celebrates Juhannus (Midsummer) in a one-of-a-kind experience.

For nearly a decade, Finlandia’s Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC) has hosted public Juhannus celebrations, in recent years incorporating Finnish American Folk School (FAFS) workshops into a festival atmosphere.

“It’s always exciting and energizing to see all of the Finnish-American activities in this area around Juhannus,” said FAHC director Dave Maki. “It speaks to the Copper Country’s deep Finnish roots when you realize that there’s the annual Juhannus bonfire at Agate Beach in Toivola, which has been happening almost every year for more than a century, along with more recently created activities like the Finnish American Folk School. It’s very gratifying when you realize just how much Finnish activity is taking place here; it’s clear the people of this area value Finnish heritage and culture.”

This year, violinist Sara Pajunen will visit the Folk School to headline a series of events from June 20-25 that include an opening reception exhibit at the Finlandia University Gallery, an evening of music and dance at the FAHC, a Finnish Rug Workshop at the Jutila Center Fiber Studio along with multiple events on Finlandia’s beautiful Quincy Green.

“With so much great work coming from workshop participants this year, and such wonderful instructors, we were delighted that the University Gallery welcomed ‘The Folk School at Midsummer’ exhibit,” folk school director Phyllis Fredendall said. “At the reception, Sara Pajunen will be presenting her new Mine Songs composition inspired by Copper Country mining history and photographs community members have submitted of their family matriarchs. The photos will be included in the exhibition. Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen will provide historical context for this new work.”

Patrons should also make sure to visit North Wind Books, adjacent to the Finnish American Heritage Center, for the Juhannus Summer Market. Open June 24 and 25, Scandinavian and Nordic souvenirs, items and bakery will be available for purchase.

To learn more about Finlandia’s upcoming anniversary and Juhannus celebrations, visit finlandia.edu/125th.

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