We’re Getting an Outdoor Wood-Fired Oven!

May 15, 2024

Oven in progress

Oven in progress – May 2024

At long last, we are getting an outdoor wood-fired oven under one of the pavilions on the grounds at the Clair Nelson Center! We have been working toward this and fundraising for a number of years and it is very exciting that it is finally happening. We’re hoping to have the oven up and running by June 13th, 2024 for the first Finland Farmers Market of the summer season. In the near future, we will also hold some community baking days and/or pizza parties to try it out and learn how it works. Whatever happens, bread or pizza, it’s going to be delicious!

Original timber frame drawing with oven

Original timber frame drawing with oven – 2019


Funding for the oven project is from the Lloyd K Johnson Foundation, as well as the IRRRB. The timber frame pavilion itself was built and donated by local artisans Heather and Andrew Deyette in 2019, with funds from a MN State Arts Board grant. Funds for the concrete slab came from the Lloyd K Johnson Foundation, Co-op Light and Power Operation Round-up, as well as many generous community donations. Over 30 community members helped with the timber frame raising in September 2019. The original design for the pavilion contained the oven within it.

We also have funds from the MN Department of Agriculture Good Food Access Program for the installation of awnings around both of the pavilions to create more space for the farmers market and other activities. 


Announcing the 2024 Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Recipients!

May 14, 2024

We are excited to announce the 2024 Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Recipients!

Rebecca Blaisdell of Two Harbors

Business and Cosmetology at Northwood Technical College

Tucker Bright of Two Harbors


Carmen Carlson of Two Harbors

Business at Lake Superior College

Congratulations to these young folks! We wish them success in their future endeavors and hope that they always feel supported by their community.

This year all of the applicants that applied received a scholarship! If you, or someone you know in the Lake Superior School District is pursuing vocational/technical education, please make sure to apply for this scholarship in the next term this coming winter! Please note that adults and well as traditional students are eligible.

When Friends of Finland took over managing the Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship in 2011, the Fund was just over $14,000 and had only a few regular donors. We gave out 4 scholarships of $250 each annually to students or adults in the Lake Superior School District who are pursuing education in vocational fields. 

Now, in 2024, the scholarship fund has grown to over $55,000, we have many regular donors, and we give out $3000 annually. We have plans to continue increasing the amount of the scholarship to better support students in the future. 

Since its creation in 2007, the scholarship has supported a total of 57 students in the pursuit of their vocational career education. 

View past Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship recipients here.

Tax deductible donations to the Clair Nelson Scholarship Fund are always appreciated. Donations can be made online here or checks can be mailed (payable to the Friends of the Finland Community memo Clair Nelson Scholarship Fund) to:

Friends of the Finland Community
PO Box 582
Finland, MN 55603

St Urho 2024 Rundown and Thank You

April 3, 2024

Photo by Pete Smerud

A giant KIITOS (THANK YOU) to all of the people who helped to make the 49th Annual St. Urho’s Celebration happen. From all of those who help put the sign up over the highway, to the folks in the parade, to all the raffle ticket sellers, to the businesses that helped out by donating or selling raffle tickets and buttons, and to the businesses and folks who participated in the ‘Passport Game’… you all help make this event happen. Thank you so much!

Big thanks to the outstanding crew that put on Miss Helmi, the great contestants this year and their helpers, and to the kind folks at the Four Seasons for feeding the crew afterwards. The Miss Helmi 2024 winner is Shawn Nowotcyznski. Thanks to Adam’s Auto Value SB for providing the bus and an especially big thanks to our driver, Carter! 

Thanks to all who helped out at the Float Workshop. Thanks to Sonju Lake Sawmill and Timberframing for the use of the forklift for the Miss Helmi/Community Float Workshop Float, Alma Mitchell for teaching her mom how to drive the forklift at the last minute, and Lynda Schauland and Katlyn Bjerkness for helping to get the forklift out of the driveway. Thanks to Slim Steffens and Dana Deyette for last minute rides and supplies. Thanks to Augie Schauland and Chris Homyak for their help towing the forklift when it died in the middle of the Heffelfinger Road. 

Thank you to Tina Kreger Buus for organizing our parade this year! Thank you to our flag bearers, and to all of the creative people with their amazing parade floats! You guys all rock! Thank you to our Grand Marshal Diane Lindberg! And a big thanks to our parade judges (Bonnie Tikkanen, Dana Deyette and Danette Sundvick) and to Pat Ramsdell (Herbie) for making the awesome trophies! 

Parade prizes went to:

  • Wolf Ridge Naturalists – Most Original
  • Hopper Stopper Taksi – Most Traditional
  • Miss Helmi’s Plane Crash Forklift made by the Finland Community Float Workshop – Best in Show

Thanks to Mason Buus for putting up signs and scaffolding and generally being helpful. 

Thanks so much to our film and livestream crew this year: Kaare Melby, Pam Melby, Jonathan Beauchane, and Renee Goneau-Maas. 

Big thanks to Robin Sunquiet for setting up and decorating the outdoor stage, to Robin and Steve Solkela for playing music outside during the day, to the Northern Stars for playing at the Clair Nelson Center, and to Lovin Lake County for sponsoring the whole thing. 

Thanks to Lucy Carlson and the Finland Food Chain team for making mojakka for lunch at the Clair Nelson Center after the parade. 

Thanks to Crystal Bay Township for providing port-a-potties for the weekend! All of us really appreciate it!

We also want to acknowledge Adam’s Auto Value for sponsoring and providing the sober cab (bus) – it really is a great option and helps keep everyone safe! Thanks so, so much!

Huge shout-out to all the individuals and businesses who donated for the online auction and for door prizes for the raffle ticket drawing this year! There were so many beautiful items donated. Thank you so much! Thank you bidders! And the donated door prizes really help to make the drawing a festive event. 

  • Adam’s Auto Value
  • Amber Klinker – Scentsy

    Photo by Pete Smerud

  • AmericInn by Wyndham Tofte
  • Baptism River Barbecue Co. 
  • Beaver Bay Mobil Mart
  • Beaver Bay Sports
  • Black Beach Inn by GrandStay
  • Blackbear Outfitters – Dick Krech
  • Black Beach Mini Golf
  • Bluefin Bay Resort
  • Briesa’s Convenience Store
  • Castle Danger Brewery
  • Cheryl Esterbrooks – Young Living 
  • Clearview General Store
  • Cove Point Lodge
  • Creating My Journey – Jessie Anderson
  • D&D Services
  • Don’s Auto Repair & Towing
  • Donna McCurdy-Wolke – Avon & Color Street Nails
  • Finland Cooperative Company
  • Finland Fire Department
  • Finland Snowmobile / ATV Club
  • Finnskogen Farm – Kaare & Pam Melby
  • Fish Out Of Water
  • Four Seasons Restaurant & Bar
  • Friends of the Finland Community
  • Happy Wanderers
  • Holiday Stationstore Beaver Bay
  • Hugo’s Bar
  • J&H Auto Repair & Towing
  • Jammin’ on the Border – Patricia Boman 
  • Jen’s North Shore Nursery
  • Julie’s True Value
  • Just Plain Sorrel – Christine & Libby Althaus
  • Knotted Pine Inn & Tavern
  • Lauri Hohman
  • Maple Grove Lodging
  • North Shore Area Partners
  • North Shore Federal Credit Union
  • Northwoods Family Grille
  • Our Place
  • Paparazzi – Debbie Ahlbeck
  • SalonHaven
  • Silver Bay Marina
  • Silver Bay Municipal Bar & Liquor Store
  • Silver Bowl
  • St. Urho Committee
  • Sterling Auto Parts (Napa TH)
  • Susan Koschak
  • Temperance Traders
  • The Green Door
  • The Well Northshore
  • Thirty-One Gifts – Gloria Stern
  • Timber Coffee Co.
  • We Are The Body Solutions
  • Wildhurst Lodge & Campground
  • Wildly Organic
  • Wolf Ridge ELC
  • Zoe’s Pizza Kitchen
  • Zup’s Food Market – Silver Bay
  • Zup’s Flower Shop & Dollar Store

Thanks to Senja Ahlbeck and Heather Sve for all of their work to gather door prizes and online auction items, and to Randy Duke for assisting. 

Thanks also to Thrivent Financial and those who filled out Thrivent Action Teams to support this event!

Huge thanks to Jeff, Pam, Joyce, and the whole crew at the Four Seasons for going all out this year and for hosting the raffle ticket drawing, and thanks to everyone who helped out the day of the drawing! 

Passport game prizes went to Tonja Fultz, Tom Ostoff, and Sarah Gagner.

Raffle prizes were as follows:

  • 1st prize $600 – Everette Haselow (Duke) of Finland, MN – ticket sold at Northwoods Grille
  • 2nd prize $300 – Bonnie Corwin of St Paul, MN – ticket sold by Renee Goneau-Maas
  • 3rd prize $200 – Layle Jelle of Grygla, MN – ticket sold by Senja Ahlbeck-Bates
  • 4th prize $100 – Trevor Guyer of Bovey, MN – ticket sold by Jordan and Kayla Schaefer
  • 5th prize $100 – Karen Nolan of Cottage Grove, MN – ticket bought at the drawing
  • 6th prize $100 – Nicole Surla of Superior, WI – she was given tickets to sell and she bought one and only one. It only takes one ticket to win!

Thanks again to Lovin’ Lake County for all the support! 

Thanks again to all for supporting St. Urho’s Day! It really does take the whole town and then some to put on this event, so to everyone who helps – THANK YOU! We’ll see you next year for the 50th annual! Stay tuned- more details coming soon! 

With so much love and gratitude,

The St. Urho Committee


St Urho Travels the World: 2024 Schedule of Events

March 4, 2024

Finland’s 49th Annual St Urho’s Celebration Schedule of Events

Theme – St Urho Travels the World

St Urho Online Auction:  Bidding starts March 11th at 6pm and ends on March 17th at 7pm! Bid here!

Friday, March 15th – 

3pm – Four Seasons Outdoor Urho Celebration begins and goes all weekend! Tent, heaters, firepit, music, games, outdoor bar and food

6-8pm – Miss Helmi Talent and Beauty Contest – various stops around town

8:00pm-Midnight – DJ and Karaoke at the Four Seasons by Upbeat Entertainment (Tara)

Saturday, March 16th

8-10:00am – Finland MN Historical Society’s Pancake Breakfast, and Craft Vendors at the Clair Nelson Center

11am – Noon – Outdoor music at the Finland Fire Hall by Robin Sunquiet

Noon – Tug of War across the Baptism River

Before, during, and after the parade – Finland Fire and Rescue will be selling refreshments outside the Finland Fire Hall

Before, during, and after the parade – approximate 10am-2pm – Campfire, snacks, kids activities, and fundraiser at the Finland Community Nature Childcare

Noon-1 pm – Parade through Finland on Highway 1. Call Tina Buus at 612-327-6925 to register for the parade.

1-3pm – Clair Nelson Center – Craft Fair, Kids Games, Mojakka Lunch, and Music by the Northern Stars

1-3pm – Outdoor music at the Finland Fire Hall by Steven Solkela and the Berserk Blondes

After the parade – Wildhurst will have food and beer specials.

After the parade – Music at the Our Place by the Curry Band 12pm-3pm. Outdoor Beer Garden 10am-3pm. Karaoke at night. Bloody Mary Specials. 

2-5:30pm – DJ and Karaoke at the Four Seasons by Upbeat Entertainment (Tara)

5:30-8:30pm – Music by Pat Eliason at the Four Seasons

8:30pm-Midnight – DJ and Karaoke at the Four Seasons by Upbeat Entertainment – Help Tara celebrate 10 years of St Urho!

Sunday, March 17th – All at Four Seasons – indoors and outdoors!

12-3pm – Southpaw Band

3-4pm – Door Prize drawings

4pm Raffle Ticket drawing

4:30pm Passport Game drawing

4:30-6pm – Wally’s Wheels Spin for Prizes

5-8pm – Beer and pizza Specials


Supported by Lovin Lake County and Welcome to Finland

Finland Community Scrapbook Archive

February 7, 2024

We keep a scrapbook archive at the Clair Nelson Center of many of the items that have happened over the recent years here in Finland butScrapbook archive pages especially here at the Center and the recreation site. It started as a way to record and track info about our activities to show to our grant funders, but it has become much more than that. 

Sicilia Dubbin has been working on updating the archive recently, and she had the following comments:

Getting to help work on the Finland Community Scrapbook was such a privilege. It was so much fun getting to live the past through the present! I was also able to see all the opportunities with events and classes that the Community Center provides, which are astounding. It doesn’t matter your age, the Community Center will have something for you! There are so many events that they put on to keep community members connected. If you have a chance to look through the scrapbooks and take a peek into the past, it’s worth it!

For anyone interested, the scrapbook archives are currently kept in the office at the Center, but we’re happy to get them out for folks to look at, and we can make copies of news articles that have personal meaning for people. The news stories in the books we have go back to 2011. 

archive pages