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      Residents indulge in the fruits of Finnish culture

      Saturday was Hancock's 13th Annual Heikinpaiva celebration. Heikinpaiva first made its appearance in the Copper Country back in 1999.

      The annual celebration marks the middle of the winter season while showcasing Finnish American culture.

      "I am half Finnish, so it??s special for me to be able to participate in a wonderful winter celebration, and today is beautiful," explains Houghton resident, Diane Shbach.

      A parade kickstarts the celebration that half the winter has melted away. However, inside Finlandia University, the party carried on with many indulging in the fruits of Finnish culture.

      "I bring all six of my kids here," says Painesdale resident, Casandra Mattila, "to keep them up with the Finnish heritage and meet new people."

      That old saying, "The way to the heart is through a person's stomach" could very well be said for the Finns with traditional foods being a big part of the event.

      Once stomachs were filled, many burned off the calories with traditional Shadish dancing.