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      Toivola bonfire to be tied with FinnFest

      This year, the annual Juhannus bonfire at Agate Beach will be tied in with FinnFest. Itâ??s a long-running Finnish tradition that the Toivola Fire Department has been heading up for the last 35 years.

      â??Itâ??s been going on for many years since probably the 1890s,â?? explained Toivola fire chief, Garry Hoekstra. â??When the Finnish settlers came over, they continued their traditions from Finland.â??

      Hoesktra said the fire always draws in a large crowd. He said this year, theyâ??re taking it to the next level.

      â??Itâ??s going to be quite a bit bigger than what weâ??re used to, but weâ??ve been working on parking and setting up venues for the food vendors,â?? Hoekstra said.

      The fire is held right on the beach every year, and the flames get over 20 feet high.

      This year, thereâ??s going to be a dance floor, food, and even live music. There will also be a raffle for a traditional Finnish sauna built by students from Jeffers High School.

      Hoekstra said the bonfire is a great event for the whole family.

      â??Itâ??ll be a really nice evening to just get together and have some fun,â?? Hoekstra said.