Celebrate winter at Heikinpaiva

This weekend, Hancock will play host to a special event that embraces the winter weather: Heikinpaiva.

It’s the the mid-point of winter and you know what that means?

Heikinpaiva, which translates to Hank’s Day in Finnish, will be taking place Saturday in Hancock and despite the harsh weather forecasts, the Finnish Theme Committee is expecting a big turnout.

Committee member David Maki, who is also an editor at the Finnish American Reporter, says it is the most fun people will have all weekend.

“We make it so that people can get out and enjoy the winter. And enjoy the culture that’s very prevalent around here and have some good old–fashioned fun,” Maki said.

Maki will be serving as this year’s Hankooki Heikki, a title given to an individual in the community who strives to promote the Finnish culture.

For those looking to stay indoors, the Tori Market is where you can shop for many Finnish arts, crafts and food.  Among the other events are the wife-carrying contest and the return of the Polar Bear Dive for the brave souls who want to take a plunge into Portage Lake.

The parade will also feature the Hankooki Heikki riding on the world’s largest kicksled. With all kinds of festivities, there is simply nothing like Heikinpaiva.

“This is one of the few festivals of its kind that take place at this time of the year.  And we strive to make sure that it is always family friendly.  It gives people a chance to get out and embrace winter especially with the recent forecasts.  It’s very easy to let the winter get the best of you,” Maki said.

The fun starts at 10 a.m. and will continue all day Saturday. For more information and a complete schedule of events, click here.