The St. Urho's Day parade in Finland, Minnesota on Saturday, March 14 continued with slightly lower numbers, but high spirits, amid the rising COVID-19 outbreak.
Continued celebrations at the Clair Nelson Center before and following the parade were canceled, but the tug-of-war prior to the parade brought people together. Contestants were assured the rope was clean and sanitized.
Tommy guns, feather boas, and lots of accordion music filled state Highway 1 as parade participants played with the theme "St. Urho Makes the '20s Roar." St. Urho's themed colors, purple and green, were also heavily used by most floats.
This year's Miss Helmi pageant winner, Steve Solkela, rode on the back of a float for one trip down the parade route, then skateboarded down a few more times to wave at the crowd and play tunes on his accordion. Solkela was scheduled to perform at the Clair Nelson Center following the parade, but instead incorporated his performance into the parade and the pageant the previous evening. Miss Helmi is considered St. Urho’s “girlfriend.”