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Mojakka cookoff coming soon

Two national traditions will combine Sunday, March 17 at Cloquet's historic NorthEastern Hotel and Saloon, as area cooks show off their best Finnish soups, all washed down with the buyer's choice of green or purple beer. The purple beer pays homage to St. Urho's Day, March 16, the day that St. Urho dined on a hearty bowl of mojakka before heading out to rid the Finnish vineyards of a plague of grasshoppers. The green beer, of course, is in honor of St. Patrick, who chased all the snakes out of Ireland long ago.

The soup is part of the 18th annual Northeastern Mojakka Cookoff, which runs 12-4:30 p.m. March 17. The event is a fundraiser for the Carlton County Historical Society and a celebration of mostly Finnish soups.

Sign up to enter your favorite soup in the contest to win the people's choice medallions. There is no fee to enter. Call 218-879-3312, 218-879-9968 or 218-393-0657 to enter. Any kind of soup will be accepted. Bread and coffee will be provided. Tickets are $10 at the door or $9 in advance.