MARQUETTE – An integral part of Finnish culture is the traditional marketplace—the tori. For years, the people of Finland have gone to the market in the morning for all kinds of crafts, goods and food. Here in Marquette, Finnish-Americans will have the opportunity to visit the tori at Finn Grand Fest 2005, which runs Aug. 10-14.
Marquette residents Ronald and Ruth Hill and Donna Keskimaki have been planning and coordinating the tori for this year’s Finn Fest since the previous one in Florida. About 100 vendors will sell items including Scandinavian clothing, official costumes of Finland, souvenir items, jewelry, books, records and tapes, saunas, garden decorations and glassware.
“Just about anything and everything you’re going to find anywhere around here, but the majority of these will have a Scandinavian theme or will actually be from Finland,” Hill said about the types of exhibitors who have registered to participate.
European toris tend to be organized around a particular type of product, such as produce or crafts, but the Finn Fest tori will by necessity be a conglomeration, Keskimaki said.
Though she has organized events before, this is Keskimaki’s first time helping with Finn Fest, and, like the Hills, she is eager to see it realized. “I have a lot of pride in my family heritage, and when I see what people have done and how people are carrying on some of the traditions [in craftsmanship], it makes me really happy,” Keskimaki said.
The tori will open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The tori is free to registered festival goers. The general public can purchase tickets for $2 per day or $5 for the four days of the festival. Online registration by credit card is available at www.finngrandfest2005.com. On-site registration is available during the festival in the University Center’s Peter White Lounge at Northern Michigan University.