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The Juhannus Mid-Summer Festival begins

The festival runs from Wednesday, June 22 to Saturday, June 25
The Juhannus Mid-Summer Festival Begins, starting tonight at an opening ceremony at the Finish...
The Juhannus Mid-Summer Festival Begins, starting tonight at an opening ceremony at the Finish Heritage Center and ending with a traditional bonfire at Agate Beach in Toivola this Saturday.(WLUC)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Summer has begun in the UP, and with it comes the Juhannus Mid-Summer Festival at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center.

“This week is the Juhannus Festival celebration throughout the Copper Country, with a number of events taking place here at Finlandia University over the next couple of days,” said Finlandia University Associate Professor Hilary Virtanen.

The festival began in 2013 as its own version of Finland’s Midsommer Festival. The pandemic put public events on hold until now.

“This event incorporates a bunch of aspects of both traditional and modern celebrations of Finnish heritage through its Midsommer Festival,” continued Virtanen. “Which is celebrated very widely in Finland and across Finnish America in different places.”

An opening ceremony begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. where Dr. Virtanen will be joined for presentations by Finlandia’s Finnish American Folk School participants. The school participants have contributed to the Midsummer Art Gallery on display at the Heritage Center.

“We will be hosting guest artist Sarah Pajunen, who is a musician and visual artist, as well as Wynne Mattila, a weaver who has been teaching at the Folk School this week, among others,” said Finnish American Folk School Assistant Director Clare Zuraw.

The festival will continue on Friday with a dancing program at the Heritage Center at 7:30 p.m. with live music, leading into Saturday.

“Saturday morning, the Folk School will be demonstrating some of our traditional arts and crafts on the Quincy Green,” continued Zuraw. “At the same time, our neighbors at the Finlandia Bookstore, Northwind Books, will be hosting a Juhannus Market with lots of vendors and sales going on next door.”

A song workshop will also be in the afternoon. The festival will close with a traditional bonfire at Agate Beach in Toivola at 9 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets for events, click here.

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