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      HeikinpÃivà festival

      Participants of the HeikinpÃivà parade braved the winds and the snow as they marched through downtown Hancock.

      "HeikinpÃivà is the mark of mid-winter in Finland. That's why they celebrate it and celebrate it on Saint Hendric'ks Day," said Mary Burnet, chairman of the parade.

      This year mainly walkers participated in the parade because of the weather. Everyone dressed up as characters from the Kalevala, a Finnish epic. In the midst of the fun, the bear rolls over also symbolizing we are halfway through winter.

      "I love the parade, and I love when they come in costumes. It takes me back to when I saw my grandmother in one of her costumes when she was young," said Judy Rupley, spectator.

      The Finnish American celebration continued at the Heritage Center. Kids rode on the whip sled. Couples participated in the wife carrying contest.

      Each couple traveled through stations cleaning the rugs, getting a sauna, and serving guests.

      "This is a great way to break up the winter and celebrate the Finnish people, the Upper Peninsula, celebrate the frozen lake and the snow," said U.P. Brrrmaids.

      Inside, guests enjoyed food, music, and browsed traditional items at the Tori market. Officials say this is a great way to keep traditions alive.