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Celebration set for satirical, mythical St. Urho

THUNDER BAY – The city’s Finnish community is preparing for an invasion. On Saturday, community members will square off in their annual battle against the nefarious grasshopper as part of the 34th annual celebration of St.
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St. Urho Day celebrations in 2015. (tbnewswatch.com file photograph)

THUNDER BAY – The city’s Finnish community is preparing for an invasion.

On Saturday, community members will square off in their annual battle against the nefarious grasshopper as part of the 34th annual celebration of St. Urho Day at the Finlandia Hall.

The traditions of the holiday date back to the 1950s in northern Minnesota, where the mythological tale of the fictional patron saint of Finland saving the country’s non-existent grape crop and wine industry from the evil grasshopper took root.

Finlandia Association secretary Jonathon Pukila said at least a couple of hundred people are expected to continue the tradition.

“It’s a great opportunity for Finns of all ages to come together and here in Thunder Bay it’s one of the many times where it’s a reunion for all Finns and descendants of Finnish immigrants here ,” he said.

“We have one of the largest populations of ethnic Finns in all of North America here in the city of Thunder Bay and it’s a great community builder.”

The annual parade, where people will take to the streets to celebrate the vanquishing of the grasshopper, will start at noon.

That will be followed by live music inside the hall along with food and a marketplace.