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      Calumet celebrates Finnish heritage

      Music and a festive atmosphere marked Calumet's Heritage Celebration. Throughout this entire week, residents can enjoy the celebration, and this year it??s all about the Finns.

      "Every year we focus on a particular ethnic group, and in all our years we've, believe it or not, never celebrated the Finns. We've been holding back," said Tom Tikkanen, Executive Director of Main Street Calumet.While many enjoy Finnish tunes from the Thimbleberry Band, PhD student Hilary Virtanen gave a presentation on Finnish folklore."I have been working with the Kalevala before, which is the Finnish national epic, and tonight I'm actually, for the first time ever, going to tell a story from the Kalevala," said Virtanen. Virtanen says her ethnicity has led her to the career she has now, and being able to share it is very rewarding."The people in my family and in this community are really the inspiration for the things that I get to study, and how it really is just so gratifying to get to be in my community and to get to hear stories that people tell and to think about the meaning that these stories have for us,?? Virtanen said.When it comes to stories and Finnish history in the Copper Country, a lot of it can be found in the Finnish American Heritage Center . The center holds things like newspapers and artifacts which give us a glimpse into the past.Some of the first Finnish immigrants made their way to the Copper Country 150 years ago, and many of their descendents still live here today.

      For more information about the Heritage Celebration, click here .