You’ve heard about Finn Grand Fest 2005 slated for Marquette, Mich., for the past two years, but you still haven’t registered, signed up to volunteer, or painted that chair.  With 20 days to go until the opening parade and ceremonies, it’s time to do all three. Finn Grand Fest kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 10 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 14.


“With over 100 cultural programs being offered, it’s time to register for Marquette’s largest festival,” stated Jon Saari, Cultural Program Chair. “Our programming committee has worked diligently to find topics that will interest many people. We have presenters who will be sharing their enthusiasm on Finnish and Finnish-American films and books, on World War II and Finland today, on the story of immigration and emigration, and on some of the U.P. communities, like Eben, Covington, and Drummond Island. There will be indoor and outdoor craft centers as well.”

         Wednesday, Aug. 9 will be committed to “A Day of Theology” with four panel presentations. More than 50 programs are being offered daily on Thursday, Aug. 11 through Saturday, Aug. 13, and nearly 20 programs are offered on Sunday, Aug. 14. An entire list of cultural programming can be found at via the “Activities – Cultural Programming” page.

         “With so many presenters as part of the festival, we also need volunteers,” stated Karen Williams, Volunteer Coordinator. “We’re looking for people to introduce our presenters and provide directions for participants, people for on-site registration, golf cart drivers, and ticket takers at all the entertainment venues. With hundreds of presenters and entertainers and thousands of registered participants, the volunteer aspect is so important to keep the festival running smoothly.”


For the painting procrastinators, there are only 20 days for the paint to dry. Anyone who wants to display their own painted chair can bring it with them. “All chairs are invited to Marquette for the festival,” says Mary Wright, the Champion of the Blue and White Chairs. “We ask that if people want their chairs back, they make sure they put their name, address and phone number on the bottom. We promised 2,005 chairs and I know we can do it.”

         On-line registration with credit cards as well as volunteer forms are still being accepted through On site registration will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the University Center on Northern Michigan University’s campus.


For more information on the festival, call 1-906-222-FINN or visit the Web site.

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