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helmi 16, 2012

A Sign of Life: Elonmerkki

The city of Tucson welcomes everyone to FinnFest 2012.

For those of you waiting to hear more about Tucson’s FinnFest 2012, Nov. 8-11, this is a sign of life (“elonmerkki” as my Dad used to say when some motion was heard from a baby’s crib)!   That goes for our Finnish American Club of Tucson as well. Yes, we are awake, stirring and actually busy assessing our resources and approaching them in order to have a super FinnFest in November right here in the Old Pueblo!  We will have imported musical and artistic talent in addition to our local treasures, color, vigor and fun.

Arizona will be 100 years old on Valentine’s Day, and our Finnish American Club will have its 46th birthday February 17. That’s history. After all, archeologists know the Hohokam tribe lived here at least 12,000 years ago with their irrigation systems and ball courts. The Spaniards came and built their missions with Father Kino in the lead. The Mexicans owned the land before the movement to “settle the west”.  There might have been Finns among the gold prospectors on their way to California. For sure there were at least 76 “Finnlanders” who worked the copper mines of Bisbee, Arizona, were deported and dumped in the desert of New Mexico in the clash of 1917.  A field trip is being planned to Bisbee.

Then Midwesterners started coming and taking a foothold beside our majestic saguaro cacti and the ever-present prickly pear and – of course — our beautiful weather. In 1966 a group of eleven transplants from Minnesota and Michigan heard Finnish spoken while attending a performance of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra at the University of Arizona. After the concert, they met and clung together tight! A reunion celebration will probably be waiting for the FinnFest activities. We are almost 100 strong in Tucson and many of us are native Finns and Finnish speakers. We teach Finnish also.

We have a place for our FinnFest – the Double Tree Hotel in a central spot, close to everything, including mountains, golf courses, the airport, downtown, etc. and across the street from the largest park in town. We have committees and individuals searching for things to see, listen to and perform. The Biosphere 2, the only one in the world is here.  We are “the World Capital of Astronomy” and are known for grinding telescope lenses (U. of A.) for the Kitt Peak Observatory and other observatories in the world including the Hubble telescope lens. We display hundreds of vintage airplanes in the “Boneyard” at Davis Monthan Air Force Base — the men folk especially love this. – And there is more.

We welcome YOU with open arms, offering you a wholesome program provided by the experts of the FinnFest Board and us.  Come early for field trips!

Registration information will be coming soon.

Tervetuloa!     Welcome!

 Sinikka Garcia

The Finnish American

Club of Tucson