FITCHBURG — The Finnish Center at Saima Park on Scott Road hosted a Nordic Fair this past Sunday that attracted crowds of visitors and featured all things Scandinavian such as vendors and traditional food along with raffle prizes, a car show, and performances by the Fitchburg State University Community Orchestra and Oivan Ilo folk musicians.
Finnish Center at Saima Park
FITCHBURG — Talented artists, crafters, bakers, and even a beekeeper will add to the variety at this year’s Tori/Nordic Marketplace and Car Cruise to be held from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Finnish Center at Saima Park, 67 Scott Road.
“Vendors of a large selection of Nordic items come from near and far to sell their wares at this popular event,” said Lorna Sulin, a member of the Finnish Center. “Jewelry, foods, pastries and candies, arts and crafts, books and music, t-shirts, and embroidered pieces are among the offerings.”
Vendors featured include Suomi Imports, Gift Chalet, Finely Crafted by Cara, Kitchen Garden, Son of a Bee, Larkknits, and Raivaaja Books. Also, Sini Harjunmaa, Katie Heiniluoma, Linda Lamothe, Susan Marceau, and Carolyn Parker.
“Also, try your luck at the basket raffle,” Sulin added. “A variety of baskets will offer something for everyone.”
The marketplace takes place outdoors under the pavilion.
Classic car owners are invited to display their prized vehicles on the adjacent field.
For the entertainment of all, live music will be played from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. by the Fitchburg State University Community Orchestra and Oivan Ilo folk musicians.
“Take a break from shopping to have lunch or a snack,” said Sulin. “We will be offering our delicious Finnish coffee bread, cinnamon rusks, coffee, tea, and cocoa will be for sale, as well as hot dogs, chicken soup, veggie chili and cold beverages.”
Thinking about joining the Finnish Center at Saima Park?
“Everyone is welcome,” said Marci Haneisen, membership secretary. “I will be at the festival to welcome new members or to renew memberships.”
Annual membership dues are $30 for individuals 18 years and over and allow year-round access to ski trails during daylight hours. Children under 18 are included.
“The first Tori was held in 1984, and every year we are thrilled to welcome back family and friends to come by, shop for unique gifts, and enjoy each time together,” said Sulin.
For more information on the Finnish Center at Saima Park, visit www.saima-park.org or on their Facebook page Friends of Saima Park.
FITCHBURG — Finnish is often regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn, those looking to learn it will now have an opportunity in a fun, encouraging setting.
This fall, the Finnish Center at Saima Park will offer group lessons on 10 consecutive Mondays, starting on Sept. 12, at the center, at 67 Scott Road.
“We will have two groups, one for beginners and the other for more advanced students,” said Saija Laurla, who will teach the classes. “And I promise I will make sure you’ll have fun while learning.”
Beginners will meet on Mondays, Sept. 12, through Nov. 14, from 6.15 to 8.15 p.m. The advanced group will meet on the same days, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The book that will be used in both classes is called “Suomen Mestari 1.” There are also other materials provided to extend the weekly lessons.
Members of the Finnish Center at Saima Park who have taken the classes previously are excited to see that Laurla is offering classes again this fall.
“Saija is informative, with a sparkle of unpredictability, this is such a fun class,” said Tina Nordstrand.
Other members of the Finnish Center agree.
“I really enjoy the language courses I have taken at the Finnish Center,” said Allison Stamm. “Saija is such a fantastic teacher, she incorporates a thorough understanding of the complexities of the Finnish language (and there are many) with relevant and insightful cultural contextual references.”
Laurla makes learning Finnish fun in spite of how difficult it can be.
“She is both smart and enthusiastic,” added Sandra Perko. “As a native speaker, she is fully versed in the grammar and usage of formal written Finnish as well as spoken Finnish, and she is good at explaining the differences. Her English is excellent so she has no difficulty making her knowledge clear to us students. I think she’s a great teacher.”
Tuition fee is $75 for members of the Finnish Center at Saima Park; and $80 for nonmembers. Children under 18 may attend for half tuition. To register for a class, email email@example.com or call 978-407-9690 and leave a message stating your name and contact information.