February 28, 2020
Winters can be snowy, cold and gloomy in the Northland. But March usually comes with signs of spring and new life.
March is also the month we Finnish-Americans celebrate St. Urho’s Day. March 16 is a day when the wacky reigns, where you can eat grapes and pet grasshoppers, and wear purple and green in honor of St. Urho, the Finnish saint created right here in northern Minnesota.
Here are the St. Urho’s Day events that will be celebrated in or close to our area.
It’s the 45th annual St. Urho’s celebration in Finland. This year’s theme is “St. Urho Makes the ’20s Roar!” The festivities take place Friday through Sunday, March 13-15, and will include a parade, a grasshopper and grapes meal, and a dance and entertainment. You can find the celebration up Minnesota State Highway 1 0n the North Shore, just past Tettagouche State Park. Buy raffle tickets at area businesses from Finland to Two Harbors, and Ely to Grand Marais. Call (218) 353-0300 for more information.
The 2020 St. Urho celebration in Menahga will start at 1 p.m. March 13 and go through Monday, March 16. Although the full weekend schedule is still being developed, here’s what we know will be happening: The Cottage House Cafe will serve mojakka all weekend. St. Urho buttons and T-shirts are on sale at local businesses. Friday events include a St. Urho look-alike contest at 6:30 p.m. in the Menahga school gym followed by a crowning of the celebration’s king and queen, proclamation by the mayor, and a musical selection. Saturday brings the St. Urho volleyball tournament, the Changing of the Guard at noon, a parade, and other festivities.
Celebrate St. Urho’s Day however and wherever you can on Monday, March 16. Share your Finnish-American pride in this quirky patron saint. And don’t forget to wear your purple and green.
Here are some of the local Finnish groups’ activities for you to attend. It’s a great way to meet and enjoy conversations with other Finns, to learn more about Finnish heritage, and to give your support to these groups and their activities.
On Tuesday, March 3, the Finnish Americans and Friends group will meet at 2 p.m. in Hibbing at Grace Lutheran Church, 4010 Ninth Ave West. The speaker will be Richard Ojakangas. Coffee time and a short meeting will follow the presentation.
Monday, March 9 will bring the back-to-back meetings of the Ladies of Kaleva Aallottaren Tupa No. 15 and the Sampo Beach Association. A short Ladies of Kaleva meeting will start at 6 p.m. followed by a combined coffee and social time at 6:30 p.m. The annual Sampo Beach Association meeting will begin at 7 to discuss the business and its plans. All members and guests are invited to attend.
The Knights and Ladies of Kaleva Pohjolaisen Maja No. 25 and Soinnuttaren Tupa No. 32 will hold their March meetings on Thursdays, March 12 and 26, starting at 6 p.m at Kaleva Hall, 125 Third Street North in Virginia. Both meetings include a coffee and goodies social time.
It’s March, so shake off the gloominess of a long winter and celebrate the coming spring.