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FinnFest 2024 announces keynote speaker and schedule

What can Finland teach us about democracy, happiness, health and sustainability? The finest facets of Finland will be on display at the 41st annual FinnFest this summer in Duluth. 

Haavisto

Pekka Haavisto was just confirmed as the keynote speaker for FinnFest 2024. A member of the Finnish Parliament, Haavisto served as the Foreign Minister when Finland joined NATO in 2023. He is a peace negotiator and a defender of democracy, the environment and human rights. A prominent and popular Finnish politician, Haavisto represents the Green League party and has also served as a Minister of the Environment and Minister for International Development. His FinnFest presentations will cover environmental and foreign affairs topics.

FinnFest has been North America’s foremost annual celebration of Nordic culture for more than 40 years. The family-friendly festival comes to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC) July 24-28. 

The FinnFest 2024 schedule was just released. The five-day fest will include a plethora of performances, speakers and activities to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

FinnFest will feature more than 100 activities and events. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Finland and Russia Panel: Featuring high-level military and cybersecurity expert Jarno Limnell, a member of the Finnish Parliament (National Coalition Party) and an Aalto University professor.
  • Photo exhibit, “From Vietnam to Ukraine,” by Rauli Virtanen, acclaimed photojournalist and foreign correspondent.
  • NAFL Floorball Season Finals Tournament featuring some of the best floorball players from nine different countries. 
  • Women in Leadership panel discussion featuring Hanna Snellman, vice president of the University of Helsinki, and additional panelists to be announced soon.
  • Tori Nordic Fair, a traditional Finnish marketplace with food, music, vendors, exhibits, artisans and demonstrations.
  • Sauna-oriented activities, including a Sauna Seminar and a Sauna Village as well as sauna merchandise at the Tori Nordic Fair.
  • Family History Seminar, with new insights into how to use Nordic genealogy data.
  • Finnish language seminars and historic area tours
  • Architecture + Sustainability, with a focus on wood as a building material

ABOUT FINNFEST:

FinnFest USA is a non-profit corporation founded in 1983 in Minneapolis. The corporation’s mission is both educational and commemorative: to connect Americans to contemporary Finland and Finnish America and to deepen Americans’ understanding of how these two small cultures contribute to American and global culture. The annual festival has been hosted in 23 cities, including Duluth in 1992, 2008 and 2023. FinnFest 2008 attracted around 10,000 participants, the largest number of FinnFest participants to this date. FinnFest has committed to a long-term partnership with Duluth as the home for its future festivals. Northern Minnesota is a prime setting for the festival as it shares weather, landscape, climate, cultural heritage, and values with the five Nordic countries. It also has the largest population of the Finnish diaspora in the U.S.

More details about FinnFest scheduleregistration and information about lodging, Tori booth rentals, volunteering and sponsorship opportunities can be found at finnfest.us

-- Press release

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