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Summer festivals draw thousands to small rural communities

August 4, 2016

Summer happenings and events in small communities across the country make the population swell! Today’s Helsingin Sanomat rang up the numbers of several events across the country that bring thousands of people to small communities and temporarily increase the population many times over.

Have you ever been to any of these events? (Some of these are definitely on my bucket list!*)

*The World Swamp Soccer Championships in Hyrynsalmi every July. The population of Hyrynsalmi is 2420 and the town receives 30 000 (!) during the tournament. Wow!

The Kaustinen Folk Music Festival that lasts a week every July. Kaustinen is home to 4288 people, but receives nearly 17 000 visitors.

*The Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä is held every June. Some 28 000 people take in the film festival and come from all corners of the globe to see it.

The Strawberry Carnival in Suonenjoki attracts about 20 000 visitors every July. The population is normally 7370.

Sonkajärvi‘s place on the map is sealed with the annual Wife Carrying World Championships, held every July. More than 7000 people visit, nearly tripling the population of the town.

Sulkava (pop. 2707) is host to Finland’s largest annual rowing event, the Sulkava Rowing Race, held every July and attacting more than 4000 people every year.

Joutsa doubles its population (4698) during the annual Joutopäivät (a music festival) held the first weekend of July.

Kuhmo (pop. 8745) also nearly doubles its population with the annual Chamber Music Festival. The two-week event is held every July.

Surely there are logistical challenges (hotels are full and the shelves in the stores are empty), but the economic windfalls are definitely a benefit for these places. You gotta love it!

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