Welcome to “Heritage Days”!



July 25-27, 2014

For our old pages, devoted to previous festivals, click here. For Finn-Am Jams, click here. To return to these main pages, click on the LOVE UNITY logo. Thanks!


The theme for the 17th biennial Finnish American Folk Festival reflects the history of the small community Naselle, in Pacific County, Washington. Mainly settled by immigrants from Kaustinen, Finland, starting in the late 1800s, “Nasel” is the original spelling of this nonincorporated area.

This FREE festival will be held July 25–27 at the Naselle-Grays River Valley school complex located at the junction of SR4 and SR 401.  There will be activities for people of all ages.  Whether you are of Finnish heritage or not, please bring your family and come learn of Finnish-American culture and history.

Sporting events include a Golf Tournament, the Paavo Nurmi 5K Run/Walk, Wife Carry, and Boot Toss. The Golf Tournament is at the Peninsula Golf Course in Long Beach, WA, on Thursday, July 24th. Pre-registration is necessary. The Paavo Nurmi 5K Run/Walk, held on Saturday also requires advance pre-registration if a souvenir t-shirt is desired. If a souvenir t-shirt is not high on your list, you can register as late as Saturday morning. Again, the registration form can be downloaded from the website or call Haleigh See at 360.484.3878.  Registering for other Saturday sports events (Wife Carry, Boot Toss)  will be on the day of the event only.

Friday activities begin at 10:00 am with a featured film. The exhibits are numerous: photography, arts & crafts, art & flowers, quilts, Finnish war memorabilia, a museum, a Viking ship, genealogy, a Finnabago, logging, and Wahkiakum County Historical Society. New this year is a room dedicated to the Sami, the indigenous people of Sapmi located above the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

The Tori (marketplace), and food vendors open at this same hour and remain open until 6:00 pm.

In addition, special cultural presentations with discussions happen all day Friday.  Performers once again fill the stadium and the stage in the Commons all day, and a special program happens in the evening.

Saturday starts with a pannukakku (Finnish pancake) breakfast. The Opening Ceremony is at 10:00 am. The Cultural Programming Series, the performances, exhibits, marketplace, and food venders continue all day.  Saturday additions include food demonstrations, arts & crafts demonstrations, music & genealogy workshops, a salmon dinner, plus a dance in the evening for those of all ages.

Sunday winds down with a community wide Worship Service/Closing Ceremony followed by pulla (cardamom bread) and coffee.  Note that the exhibits, food vendors, and Tori will not be open that day.

Organizers request poignant photos representing this theme.  Photos should have identifying information such as names of subjects, name and contact information of the person sending them.  Photos can be sent via email to:  ronald.malerich@verizon.net or mailed to Ronald Malerich, 341 West Deep River Road, Naselle, WA  98638.

The organizers also request stories, vignettes, poems, and original songs related to this theme which the FAFF may publish or can use in the festival.  All such materials can be sent to:  FAFF, P. O. Box 156, Naselle, WA  98638 or emailed to Nick Nikkila at ussuomi@wwest.net.

Potential performers should also contact Nick.  His phone number is 360.465.2595.

Those interested in having a Tori vendor booth need to contact Dorothy Smith. Her email is:  smaxbunz@wwest.net.  Phone:  360.484.484.7209.

Potential lecturers or discussion leaders should contact Anita Raistakka: anita@finnam.naselle.net or 360.484.3376.

Food vendors contact Sherry Hartline at 360.484.7258.  Her email is:  hartline@wwest.com.

For further festival information,  contact chairperson Mike Swanson.

We thank our generous sponsors and encourage you to support them in return:  Bank of the Pacific,  Finnish American Historical Society of the West (Portland),  and United Finnish Kaleva Brothers and Sisters Lodge No.  (Portland).  If you would like to become a sponsor, contact either Mike or Anita.

Come celebrate with the Finns in this “little village with the big heart.”  Our logo is “Love and Unity.”  You will be warmly welcomed and return home with many wonderful memories.


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