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Mary Lukkarila
29-04-07, 04:45
June Pelo has been talking about this forum for a long time. Now I have found time to join. Three of my grandparents were born in Finland, one in Kuortane (Leppiaho), one in Kuusamo (Tuovila), and the other in Pudasjärvi(Lantto). My fourth grandparent was born in New York Mills, MN. His father was born in Siikajoki (Lukkarila) and his mother in Rantsila (Äijälä). At one time I said I was 100% Finn but have since learned of Swedish connections with the Sursill family and Sami heritage. After my second visit to Finland, I realized that I wasn't Finnish at all, but by now, 3rd generation American. Now I say I am Finnish American as a compromise. I have been researching my family since 1978. Things moved very slowly until the arrival of the Internet and wonderful sites that allow people to communicate with each other and find connections. Currently, in my spare time, I am working on the Finnfest 2008 committee. It will be in Duluth, MN. at the end of July 2008. You are all invited to attend. We plan to have a wonderful genealogy room that will look out toward Lake Superior.

Best regards,
Mary

cdahlin
29-04-07, 18:17
Hello Mary!

I have heard of the Finnfest 2008 in Duluth and I hope that I can come over then. I have a lot of "new" cousins in this area so it would be great to come and visit them.

Christian Dahlin, Pedersöre, Finland

June Pelo
29-04-07, 21:12
Hello Mary,

I remember when we were in MN about 10 years ago? and met you and Leif Mether, among others, there at Esko. Wish we didn't live so far away or we'd be there in Duluth next year.

Christian, I hope you can be there in 2008. I think you would feel at home in Duluth. I've been in Pedersöre several times and liked it very much. I was buying postcards in a store there and when the clerk learned I was from the States, she invited me to her home for coffee. Alas, I was leaving and couldn't stay another day. Everyone was so friendly to me.

June

Mary Lukkarila
29-04-07, 23:40
June, we had a great time with you and your sister. It would be great if you could come to Duluth in 2008, but I realize it may be difficult.

Christian, we are planning a genealogy luncheon. One thought was to have tables with region names so that people can possibly meet new "cousins", or at least discuss researching those areas. We wonder if we should include some North American regions as well as the Finnish regions. What do you think would be of interest to the people from Finland?

June Pelo
30-04-07, 02:33
Mary,

Forgot to mention that Janine has also joined Finlander - and she posts now and then when her job permits.

June

cdahlin
30-04-07, 17:22
For myself and my wife the plans for Finnfest is far away from definitive, but I must confess that it sounds a little bit attractive. Mostly I look forward to sometimes meet my newly found cousins in Duluth and Minnesota, but of course it would be great to be there the same time as the Finnfest too.

I can't give any advice of what people want or how you should arrange the happening. Everyone has their own needs, but I think your description sounds good. Because people from both Finland and US regions are present it could be fine to know which area they are representing.

Do you have any idea of how big this happening would be? How many usually visit such Finnfest-happenings?

Christian

Mary Lukkarila
30-04-07, 19:54
We are expecting over 7,000 people to attend over the four day festival. Here is the web site: http://www.finnfest2008.com/
Genealogy is only one part of the event but has become very popular over the past few years. Our genealogy events in the Duluth area have been very well attended. June Pelo can probably say more about the large Swede Finn population in the Duluth area. I would recommend early registrations for lodging. The hotels in our area are always sold out for the summer and especially when there are festivals in town. Our Finnfest committee will be offering housing arrangements in the near future and setting aside rooms for our festival. I know that there will be rooms available at the University of Minnesota and we are looking for people to help house participants in their homes. I think many people from Finland are thinking about coming here because there are so many with relatives that came here, especially from Ostrobothnia. It is a beautiful part of the United States and a good vacation choice. Duluth is about 3 hours away from Minneapolis/St. Paul and 2 hours from Ironwood, Michigan.

Cherykery
28-07-07, 11:29
Hi!
I have/had relatives living in Duluth. The Rappana's...LeRoy & Alice. LeRoy was my Grandmother's brother. (I am looking for information about their grandparents.) I have been to Duluth many times and it is beautiful there and a fun place to visit.
My family lives in Minnesota and now that I know that FinnFest will be in Duluth next year I am already making plans to come and have let my Mom and Aunt know. I have an online friend who is going this year and am looking forward to hearing about her trip.
Cheryl from Minnesota in Florida

Mary Lukkarila
30-07-07, 05:37
I just returned from FinnFest in Ashtabula. FinnFest is always such a great experience in meeting new Finnish American friends and seeing different areas where the Finns settled in the U.S. What a beautiful area Ashtabula is and interesting for those of us who live at the very end of the chain of Great Lakes. I hope you will come and enjoy our FinnFest which will take place at the convention center right next to Lake Superior. It is a perfect place for a summer vacation. :)

Cherykery
02-08-07, 02:19
Hello Mary,
I'm so glad you had a good trip. I have another friend from MN who was at the Finnfest and am waiting to hear all about her trip. I am looking forward to being there next year with my Mother who lives in MN. It may be a great place, and time of year, for a vacation! It is hot, humid and also hurricane season here in Florida this time of year! What kinds of things will be going on at the Finnfest? I'm just learning of it :)
Thanks!
Cheryl in FL

Mary Lukkarila
02-08-07, 04:15
We are planning a variety of events including different musical events, dancing, children's programming, art exhibits, a genealogy room, and lectures. We will have a genealogy luncheon with the opportunity to meet people from areas you are researching. I am also planning something with DNA studies on the genographic project for Finland. We could use someone with expertise in Swede-Finns in the genealogy room and perhaps for a lecture. It has been my understanding that many Swede-Finns came to Minnesota because of religious problems in Finland (Baptists in a Lutheran country). Anyone know if this is true? We are in the process of narrowing down which programs we will offer, so now is the time to put in some suggestions. Hope to see many of you in Duluth in 2008!

Cherykery
03-08-07, 07:15
We are planning a variety of events including different musical events, dancing, children's programming, art exhibits, a genealogy room, and lectures. We will have a genealogy luncheon with the opportunity to meet people from areas you are researching. I am also planning something with DNA studies on the genographic project for Finland. We could use someone with expertise in Swede-Finns in the genealogy room and perhaps for a lecture. It has been my understanding that many Swede-Finns came to Minnesota because of religious problems in Finland (Baptists in a Lutheran country). Anyone know if this is true? We are in the process of narrowing down which programs we will offer, so now is the time to put in some suggestions. Hope to see many of you in Duluth in 2008!

I am so looking forward to coming in 2008. Need to say lots of prayers that I will be able to at that time! I am just learning about my Finnish Heritage - mother if Finnish & father is 1/2 Finnish. I have met some cousins through my search for ancestors in Finland and am hoping to meet one of them in the spring. They may be coming to Florida! It would be great to meet others that have family from the same areas! I don't know anything about the DNA studies. I will have to look into that I guess.
I don't know about the religious problems in Finland and people coming to MN. My family that came over here were Lutheran and very involved in their churches. My Grandmother, Milda Hokkanen from Mpls, was very involved with her church even after she was in the nursing home before her death. I will have to ask my Aunt about this as she had a professor in college who told her much about the Finnish Lutheran Church.
Hope to see you next year!
Cheryl in Florida :cool:

syrene
11-07-08, 21:37
I just sent some chit chat re: Swedish Finn Luncheon in Duluth for FinnFest 08
Syrene