St. Patrick’s Day celebrated traditionally

Elizabeth Bailey

Friday marks the day of celebration for an unlikely saint, St. Urho and although his glory is overshadowed by St. Patrick, NMU’s Beaumier Center plans to celebrate both with a dance and potluck.

The event will be held on Friday, March 16 at Dance Zone, located at 1113 Lincoln Ave. Dinner will start at 6 p.m. and the dance will be from 7 to 9 p.m.

The celebration will not only incorporate traditional food and dance but there will also be poetry and folktale readings.

Although there is not a set performer of the poetry and folktales, according to Beaumier Museum Director, Danial Truckey, anyone is welcome to share any stories regarding the saints.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students and children.

According to Truckey, St. Urho was made famous in the northern region of Minnesota during the 1950s, however the legend has made it back to Finland itself and even people there celebrate the legend of St. Urho.

“St. Urho is a mythical Finnish-American creation,” Truckey said. “He is not an actual saint. He was a creation of Finnish-Americans as a way to celebrate Finnish culture. It’s kind of a tongue-in-cheek take on the legend on St. Patrick.”

According to Truckey, St. Urho was responsible for eliminating all the grasshoppers from Finland, much like St. Patrick did to the snakes in Ireland.

In honor of both saints, there will be a trio of Celtic musicians along with some Finnish music. Marge Sklar, the owner of Dance Zone, will lead the dances.

“Dance Zone is just a fun place to be,” Sklar said. “I try to make a variety of dances available to the Marquette community.”

At Dance Zone all kinds of dances are taught including swing, salsa, contra and polka, “Geared toward teaching people while also having a place for traditional dancers to gather and dance together.”

“People can expect to have a lot of fun,” Truckey said. “It’s not necessarily an educational event, it’s more of just a fun dance to meet people and enjoy good food.”