Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finnish Laskiainen

As I promised on an earlier post, I would have several posts explaining my weekend activities.  Most of them around a festival in Northern Minnesota referred to as "Laskiainen".  This evenings post surrounds the outside activities.  Dress warm!
Years of History
One of the simple favorites in Minnesota is sledding.  Often times people that live in an area of rolling hills simply go out in their own backyard and slide down a hill.  This sledding festival is special.  This year they brought in a few trucks of snow to make the hill larger.  Then they use a mold to create the tracks.  To make sure that you get a good fast ride they spray the track down with water.  (After all, there is nothing faster than ice.)

Mother and Daughter sledding
This is a fun family event.  Parents and children of all ages could be seen going down the hill.  At the top of the hill, two lines formed.  Each line formed behind a different track.  I have to wonder if there are some that try out both tracks to see which one is faster.

Father and Son sledding
Whether brother and sister repeating a tradition or a couple on a date, it wasn't surprising to see a man and woman about the same age coming down on a sled together.

Couple time
Airborne!  I must admit that I am not familiar with all of the new fangled sleds.  I am not sure how this kid stayed on this small flat piece of plastic with no sides.  He was kneeling too and I remember as a child how difficult kneeling was on a sled.  Yet there he goes over a bit of a bump and although he goes airborne for a bit, he didn't wipe out.
Kids alone

At the top of the hill and just behind the building, an old fashioned festival ride was available for the children too young to sled.  The two adults in the center walked in a circle for the child to spin around several times.
Now this is a festival ride...
Sledding is one thing.  But look at this hill!  They have built it up and made some very fast tracks for people to go down.  You get your exercise going up the hill several times.

Now that is a bit of a hill!
It doesn't matter what age, fathers and daughters repeat the tradition of sledding down the hill together.  I was asked repeatedly if I was interested in borrowing a sled and taking a slide.  Listening to the sleds go down the path, it sounded very rough. Since my back has been good lately, I decided to pass on the offer.

Father and Daughter continue the tradition
There were a few sleds that went straight, some that slipped sideways and some that wiped out at the bottom of the hill.  The organizers had cleared off a large section of the lake at the bottom of the hill for the best slide possible.  The people monitoring the top of the hill, were very careful to watch the bottom making sure that the path was clear for the next sled even if there was a wipeout.

Wipe out!?!

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