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Celebrate summer Finnish style

During the upcoming month, Finns all over the Northland will be celebrating summer and other special events. Many of these are open to the public, so plan to get out and celebrate with them.

Knights and Ladies of Kaleva from throughout the country will be gathering in Duluth from June 6-10 for their biennial international Grand Lodge Convention. Grand Lodge meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn in downtown Duluth, with activities planned at locations around the area. Attendees will attend a church service and program about the 1918 fires at Pine Hill Lutheran Church, near Interstate 35 off of Midway Road, as well as an evening of sauna, swimming, visiting and a great meal at Sampo Beach on Little Grand Lake.

The Ladies of Kaleva Aallottaren Tupa 15, Duluth, have been working hard for the past year to plan and arrange this convention, and they look forward to visiting with Kaleva friends from all over the U.S. and Canada.

The Knights and Ladies of Kaleva Pohjolaisen Maja 25 and Soinnuttaren Tupa 32, Virginia, will be celebrating Juhannus (summer) and honoring their deceased Kaleva brothers at their annual Honor Roll/Juhannus banquet and program Thursday, June 14, at Kaleva Hall, 125 Third St. N., Virginia.

At this moment, I have no information on the time and cost for the meal and program, so if you are interested, you will have to contact a Kaleva member. The program will feature an interview with Henry Sande who grew up living in Kaleva Hall. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the Kaleva organization bought the hall in 1968.

The hall, built in 1906 by the Valn Tuote Raitius Seura (Guiding Light Temperance Society in Virginia), has for many years been the location of numerous lectures, musical programs, poetry readings, dinners, concerts and dances. It will be very interesting to hear what Henry Sande reveals about living in the hall years ago and what changes have happened since then.

The Knights and Ladies of Kaleva Otavan Maja 7 and Valvottaren Tupa 20 invite everyone to come and celebrate Juhannus with them Thursday, June 21, at Kaleva Island, located just south of Eveleth on Highway 37, a few miles west of Highway 53. Come and enjoy a picnic luncheon starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $7. Buy a raffle ticket or two, pick up some goodies at the bake sale and visit with friends while listening to a great program of music and entertainment. Lighting of the kokko (bonfire) will follow the program, weather permitting. For more information, call 218-744-5042 or 218-229-3519.

If you are looking for some more midsummer celebrating, head to the Juhannus Celebration on Sunday, June 24, at Sampo Beach on Little Grand Lake, 7095 Saginaw Rd., just north of the intersection of highways 2 and 194 in Saginaw. From 2-5 p.m., you are invited to come and enjoy the swimming, sauna, games, live music, sing-alongs and art activities. Coffee and pulla will be available and a grill trailer will be brought in.

The event is free and open to the public. Come and have a great time relaxing, visiting with friends and enjoying the lake. Bring your family and don't forget to bring your lawn chairs, swimsuits and towels.