By Solomon Gustavo
COKATO, MN The Cokato Finnish American Historical Society’s (CFAHS) Temperance Corner, located three miles north of Cokato on County Road 3, hosted its Fall Festival Oct. 3.
The event celebrated the 150 year anniversary of Finnish settlers venturing to Cokato, serving an anniversary cake. Dave Bajari spoke, telling stories about Finnish people settling in the French Lake area (a little more than eight miles north of Cokato).
“He was a fabulous storyteller” said CFAHS board member Sara Keskey, “it was a very entertaining program.”
The event, Keskey said, also included a bake sale with homemade preserves, pickled beets, jams, jellies, Finnish treats, breads and pastries. A craft sale had weaved rugs, sauna mats, wood turning and clay crafts made by area children, and paintings and postcards by two area artists, said Keskey. CFAHS gave away prizes.
Keskey said that it was “about an average turnout” for their biennial festivals.
Neea Nieminen, a Finnish foreign exchange student at DC High School, was also at the event, ceremoniously standing over the anniversary cake as it was to be cut as a literal link to the Finnish homeland and relishing in the opportunity to speak Finnish with area residents that still know the language, said Keskey.
Temperance Corner, at Finnish Pioneer park, a self supporting non-profit organization, expressed purpose is to “preserve the history of the Finnish pioneers and others who settled in this area of Wright County,” according to its website.