78th Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival
Longest Running Ethnic Festival
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“Oh once they’ve slid down the hill, they’ll come back again next year,” said Laskiainen Organizer Vivian Williams.
For 78 years sledders have returned to the small town of Palo, Minnesota for the annual Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival.
“We heard there was a big sled made out of ice and it goes really fast and you go out on the lake and it was a lot of fun,” said Steve Armstrong.
A fun day built for the whole family.
“You get your sleds out or toboggan and you go down our ice hill or else you can take a carriage ride. There’s lot of interesting things to see and every year we kind of change it a little bit and finally there’s a dori, which is a market place,” Williams said.
And while most of the festival takes just a few days to set up, the main attraction, the ice hill, takes a little longer to prep.
“In early January we start building the ice slide, it’s a high hill, a natural hill and there’s a lake at the bottom. And then they ice it so you really go down fast,” Williams said.
The kids loved going down the hill so much.
“And they had as they called it ‘a blast,'” said Williams.
That once wasn’t enough.
“12, 12, 11, 12, haha,” said the Armstrong family.
The numbers don’t lie, the Laskiainen Festival is one of a kind.
“Where else can you slide down hills and eat well and just go in and out and see all your friends or meet someone you haven’t seen in 20 years,” Williams said.
Good food, good friends and a great hill for sledding. Not a bad way to spend the day in the great outdoors.