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This weekend (January 18-19), the annual Heikki Lunta Winterfest (Hey-Key Loon-ta) takes place on and around Negaunee's Teal Lake. The festival celebrates the legendary (and pretty much made up) Finnish show god who is said to have the ability to perform a dance causing snowfall. I came across the original version of the Heikki Lunta Snowdance Song on a cool blog called Letters for George. In his Heikki Lunta letter, he explains:
There's a little town called Atlantic Mine about five miles away from Houghton where they hold an annual snowmobile race every winter. In 1970 the race was at risk of being cancelled because there wasn’t any snow. The race was sponsored by radio station WMPL in nearby Hancock. With no snow in sight, one of the station’s salesmen, David Riutta, composed a song called the "Heikki Lunta Snowdance Song." It took him about twenty minutes to invent the lyrics. "Heikki Lunta," it turns out, means “Henry Snow” in Finnish, and Riutta chose the name because his favorite musician was country western singer Hank Snow.
Heikki Lunta was said to live in the back woods of a Finnish farming community south of Houghton, and he reportedly had the ability to do a dance which would cause snow to fall from the skies. Riutta’s song asked "Heikki Lunta" to do his dance to make it snow in time for the snowmobile race. They started playing the song on WMLP, it immediately became a local hit, and, lo and behold, it soon began snowing. According to local lore, it snowed and snowed for days. So much so that they had to cancel the snowmobile race.
Source : Absolute Michigan, including a video of Heikki Lunta by Da Yoopers.
Zach Jay, Heikki Lunta Winterfest offers fun for everyone, Mining Journal, January 16, 2014.
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