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National Sauna Week

February 22

To raise awareness and appreciation of Finnish sauna culture, the Finlandia Foundation has declared the last week of February National Sauna Week. In 2023, the Finlandia Foundation announced an investment to preserve cultural assets previously held by Finlandia University (Suomi College) in Hancock.

The upper Midwest is known as the Sauna Belt. The Finnish Theme Committee (FTC) in Hancock says the Keweenaw is the buckle of the belt. To prove that point, the FTC is hosting a variety of sauna events during National Sauna Week. This year, National Sauna Week is Feb. 18-24.

Look out for the following events all week long:

Sauna Week Exhibits: (Feb. 18-23, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily at Finnish American Heritage Center) – See sauna week art poster exhibits, featuring Calumet Debbie Paver’s winning poster. Learn about sauna culture and history through stories and see a Finnish Log Building exhibit. Copper Island Academy third-graders will also submit Sauna Week projects to be displayed at the Heritage Center. They interviewed grandparents and elders about sauna and sauna traditions.

Sauna Stories: (Feb. 19-23 on Hancock Quincy Green) – These will be recorded in a fun style by 2nd Sandbar Productions. The oral history project from the Finnish Theme Committee invites the public to share their most memorable sauna memories inside a Copper Country Sauna! Recordings will take place through the week in 15-20 minute slots. The recordings will be available and archived at the Finnish American Heritage Center. Sign up for a slot and check out the event details online.

Sauna Forum: (Feb. 24, 10 a.m. @ Finnish American Heritage Center) – A public forum to discuss the possibilities of a public sauna in the area. Inspired by the “new” public saunas going up in Finland, the idea has been raised here. National Sauna Week is a good time to talk about the possibilities of more public saunas in the Keweenaw. The forum is free and open to the public and hosted by the Finnish Theme Committee of Hancock and the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce – Upper Peninsula Chapter.

Sauna Expo: (Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Hancock Quincy Green) – Enjoy several locally crafted saunas on display in Downtown Hancock. The saunas are supplied by local sauna manufacturers and high school shop classes. Builders will be on hand to answer any questions and to facilitate viewing the saunas on the Quincy Green.

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