Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival in Palo this weekend

This is an older post about Laskiainen. Click here for the 2016 information.

The Laskiainen Sliding Festival in Palo is an annual Finnish mid-winter tradition. (PHOTO: Screenshot from Andrew Krueger YouTube video)

The Laskiainen Sliding Festival in Palo, Minnesota is an annual Finnish mid-winter tradition, which includes more than just sliding. (PHOTO: Screenshot from Andrew Krueger YouTube video)

This weekend, Feb. 7-8, the 78th Annual Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival will be held near the Loon Lake Community Center in downtown Palo, Minnesota. This annual Iron Range winter tradition originated with Finnish immigrants who settled places like Palo after they were blacklisted from area mines some 100 years ago. The event goes back hundreds of years in Finland and is usually associated with the “mid-winter,” or the “beginning of the end” of the cold, dark season.

A couple weeks ago, a Finnish-American friend of mine talked about the Jan. 19 Finnish tradition of taking a stick and rapping it on something hard outside to, metaphorically, “break the back of winter.” The Laskiainen event is part of the same tradition. Winter is a big deal in the Nordic nations of Europe and the Nordic states of America.

Andrew Krueger of the Duluth News Tribune posted this delightful piece of photojournalism about Laskiainen in 2012:

The dates are different, but the concept of this thing hasn’t changed much over the years. The 2015 event is replete with sliding (of course) and a smorgasbord of food, arts and cultural exhibitions. But why should I elaborate when you could read the official flyer on authentic salmon-colored legal paper:

Laskiainen 2015

(I realize it might be hard to read this version, but this is precisely how older residents of the Range see this flyer, knowing that all they really need to do is direct people to Palo on Saturday morning to see what’s going on).

But if you still need an event link, here you go.


  1. Tamara rzab says

    Is this the 2015 event calender? I used to go every year as a kid and id lovw to bring my kids . Any current information would be greatly apprciated

    • No this is an old listing. I know the next one is Feb. 6, 2016 because I’m doing my radio show from Aurora that day in honor of Laskiainen. More on that to come.

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