November 8, 2019
I take solace in the fact that along with thoughts of winter come thoughts of Christmas.
So, I’m putting these upcoming Christmas bazaars and festivals on my calendar and I hope you do, too! Plan to carve some time out of your busy days to attend. These events will give some extra pizzazz to your Christmas holidays!
The 51st annual “Finnish-American Holiday” bazaar, sponsored by the Ladies of Kaleva Soinnuttaren Tupa #32, will be held Saturday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kaleva Hall, 125 3rd Street North in Virginia. There will be all kinds of things to check out and buy for yourself or for gifts, including tables filled with Lastu items, loaves of pulla and baked goods galore, delicious homemade candies, handcrafted items by the dozens, “Remembering Äiti” cookbooks, sisu hats and bags, Kaleva coffee, and Christmas “used-a-bit” items. In addition, live music will keep the scene joyful and “holiday-jolly.”
Just a few weeks later is the Scandinavian Christmas festival, the Julebyen. If you haven’t been there, it’s a must-see. Held in Knife River Dec. 6-8, the days will be jam-packed with music and crafts and everything Christmas! The outdoor market huts will have a wide variety of talented vendors, along with Scandinavian food and bakery goods, the Gnome Tent entertainment, children’s games and workshops to make simple gifts. The indoor vendors in the Recreation Building will have local, handmade gifts and goodies. The Troll Village at the campground will house Minnesota book authors and illustrators and a wide variety of vendors, as well as food, kids games, sleigh rides, and fat tire bike demos. To plan your visit, check out their website at http://www.julebyen.us.
After a busy weekend of shopping and the Scandinavian Christmas Festival, take time to relax, visit with friends, have a wonderful meal and enjoy a great program at the 39th annual Pikkujoulu (Little Christmas) Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Duluth. A wonderful Finnish dinner will be followed by a great program with music by the Järvenpää Singers as well as Steve Solkela (and his Overpopulated One-Man Band). Tickets will be available until mid- to late-November, so contact Donna Iisakka at 218-590-8655 soon. This outstanding event is sponsored by the Minnesota Finnish American Historical Society Lakehead Chapter. Plan to celebrate this longstanding Christmas celebration with more than 300 Finns and friends! Tervetuloa! Welcome! - To everyone!!
Most of the Finnish groups in the area will be meeting on their regularly scheduled dates in November, and many of them will then take a few months of winter break so their members aren’t driving on bad roads or in bad weather. Most of them will also celebrate Pikkujoulu/Christmas celebrations in some form, too. Check back in December for more information.
In the meantime, don’t let Old Man Winter cramp your Christmas and holiday style. Even though the snow’s blowin’ and the wind’s chillin’, there’s a lot of warmth where your Finn friends gather. Plan to come and join us to celebrate Christmas, celebrate winter, celebrate life.