Finnfest USA 2019

Join us for FinnFest USA in Detroit!
September 19th – 22nd, 2019

For a full, detailed schedule click the button below!

Full Schedule

Schedule Highlights
Music Program Highlights

Viola Turpeinen Tribute
Finn Folk and Finn Hall play the 20th century music associated with accordionist, Viola Turpeinen

Järnefelt Trio Finnish chamber music

Tallari The American premiere of Simo Westerholm’s collection of Finnish American folk music

Finn Hall Historic Finnish-American dance hall music

Kardemimmit Four awesome women playing the Finnish national
instrument, the kantele

Click here for Performer information

Tori Exhibition and Marketplace
Vendors, live music, café, and a pasty food truck

Open Times:

Thursday – 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Friday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Exhibit: 100 years of Finland/US Diplomatic Relations
Exhibit created by the Finnish Embassy; on display throughout the festival

Seminar Program Highlights

Genealogy Seminar
Is My Family Tree History Really Finnish? A look at the history of ordinary Finnish families and migration

Labor History Seminar (with field trip)
The Automobile Industry and the Finns, exploring Detroit’s labor history story and the Finnish experience within it

Art History Seminar (with field trip)
An exploration of Cranbrook and America’s Monumental Art in the context of Finnish America

Finnish language class for adults
TULKAA OPPIMAAN! Learn, relearn, or improve your Finnish, as well as have fun participating in Finnish cultural activities

Finnish Cooking Class
HYVÄÄ ROUKAHALUA! Hands-on experience with the cooking techniques, tastings, and presentation of Finnish rye bread and piirakka (Karelian pies), and other foods

Click here for Seminar descriptions

Wednesday, September 18th (Pre-Festival)

Ismo Leikola Comedy Show

Wednesday, September 18 at 8:00 PM
Farmington Civic Theater

Ismo, a top-rated performer in Finland’s stand-up comedy world, made his U.S. debut in 2014 at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood  and won the title of “The Funniest Person in the World.” 
In December 2015, he relocated to Los Angeles. Many Americans now recognize him as the comedian with that unique “Finnish sense of humor.” This appearance will be his first in Detroit as well as the first time that FinnFest USA has featured a comedian on the program.
Special thanks to the Finlandia Foundation of Michigan for sponsoring this event!


Thursday, September 19th

Genealogy Seminar
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Labor History Seminar (with field trip)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Art History Seminar (with field trip)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Finnish language class for adults
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Finnish Cooking Class
9:00 – 11:30 AM OR 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Opening Ceremony
7:00 PM (with special guests and music)

Gala Reception
9:00 PM

Finnish American Documentary Film Festival
Films made in the last 40 years, including “Children of Labor” 1977 and 2019 films made by Michael Loukinen and Kristin Ojakangas

Friday, September 20th

Four Educational Sessions Each 1.5 hours in length featuring many presentations in each session. Choose from a variety of topics such as: Migration, Literature, Music, Art, History, and the Natural world

175th Birthday of Minna Canth
Special programming to commemorate Minna Canth, Finland’s 19th century pioneer feminist and co-founder of Finland’s modern literature


Viola Turpeinen Tribute

5:30 PM

Järnefelt Trio

7:00 PM

8:30 PM

Saturday, September 21st

Four Educational Sessions
No repeated from Friday
Each 1.5 hours in length featuring many presentations in each session. Choose from a variety of topics such as: Migration, Literature, Music, Art, History, and the Natural world

Finnish language day for children ages 8-16
Finn Camp, Wixom, Michigan

Moijakka Supper  Finn Camp, Wixom, Michigan
6 PM

Finnish Cuisine Buffet Dinner
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Catering by Master Chef, Soile Anderson

Finn Hall
7:00 PM

Sunday, September 22nd

Worship Service
Emmanuel Lutheran, Southfield
10:30 AM
A highly regarded example of mid-20th century modernism, the church was built by the Finnish Detroit community. Finnish hymns in English translations, scriptures read in Finnish and English. Special music from the Finnish sacred tradition. Church of Finland pastors and cantor join with
Emmanuel Lutheran’s pastor.

Family Fun Day
Finn Camp
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
A family focused activity day at the historic cooperative camp on Loon Lake in Wixom

Private FinnFest USA Open House
Cranbrook Art Museum and Saarinen Residence
1:00 PM – 5: 00 PM

Kardemimmit Finnish Center Association
7:00 PM

Sheraton Detroit Novi

Most FinnFest USA 2019 sessions and events will take place at the Sheraton Detroit Novi. For convenient lodging and a discounted rate, book today! Last day to book a room is Wednesday, August 28. 

Book Now