Finnish Summer Festival/Kesäjuhla

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The Finnish Center at Saima Park, located at 67 Scott Road in Fitchburg, is excited to be hosting its annual “Kesäjuhla” (Summer Festival) on Sunday, June 18. As part of the festival, George Mirijanian will run the Dana M. Sulin Memorial Chess Tournament. Registration for the tournament is from 8:45-9:15am, with the tournament to begin at 9:30.

Other festivities  begin at 10:00am. Outdoor games for all will include “mölkky”, a Finnish lawn-bowling game, and “sanko hiipiminen”. a water-carry obstacle course.  Corn hole, horseshoes, and badminton will also be available. In addition to the games, festival goers can try their luck at the basket raffle, enjoy some coffee and Finnish coffee bread ,  cinnamon rusks, or cupcakes  (all $2.each), shop the Raivaaja book and music collection, and chat with artist Jen Swan, a teaching artist and muralist. Swan is descended from some of the original members of Sovittaja Park on Demond Pond in Rutland, and many of her landscapes draw inspiration from this peaceful place. Her work will be on display, with some for sale.

Hot dogs and veggie dogs with chips will be sold for $5, beginning at 11:00. A delicious chicken barbecue dinner will be served from 11:30-12:30. Reservations must be made by emailing finnishcenter@yahoo.com or calling 978 407-9690. The dinner includes a half chicken, potato salad, cucumber salad, cranberry sauce, bread and butter, for $15. Quantity is limited. Hot and cold beverages are $2.00.

The Fitchburg State University Community Orchestra, under direction of Dr. Hildur Schilling, will delight the crowd from 11:00-12:00. Folk musicians Oivan Ilo will play from 12:00-1:00, and will accompany the Revontulet Folk Dancers during this time as they perform a few dances and invite the audience to join them in others. At 1:00, Roy Helander will recite a poem “Letter to my Grandparents” by Marlene Ekola Gerberick. FCSP scholarships will then be awarded.

Those who attended last year’s concert by singer-songwriter-pianist dynamo Eeppi Ursin will be happy to know that she will be back this year with another rousing performance! The concert is from 1:30-2:30. Originally from Finland and now living in New York City, Ursin was chosen as Finlandia Foundation National’s 2022 Performer of the Year.

For more information about the Finnish Center at Saima Park, visit saima-park.org or see “Friends of Saima Park on Facebook.

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