Kuopio Housing Fair 2010

Every summer 150,000 Finns head for the annual housing fair to see the latest trends in home construction, furnishing and design. Housing fairs are a delightful experience for the whole family, and they help to continuously improve the national standard of housing and quality of life. Housing fairs have been arranged in various parts of Finland for the past 40 years. – City of Kuopio website

“You’re going where?”

I have to admit that three years ago I didn’t know that Minneapolis has a sister city in the middle of Finland … until I was invited to represent Minneapolis at a conference on cultural arts youth work hosted by our sister city Kuopio in February 2008. (Click here read about my 2008 trip to Finland.)

As a person of “Norwegian-American” heritage (don’t let my German name fool you!), I welcomed the opportunity to explore more of Scandinavia, and during my brief winter in 2008, Kuopio captivated me, and ever since I have wanted to return during the summer to soak in its amazing scenic beauty and long summer days.

Today I am chairing the new Minneapolis-Kuopio Sister City Committee, and am traveling with Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman to Kuopio this month to attend the Kuopio Housing Fair 2010 with six other Kuopio Sister City delegations from Castrop-Rauxel, Germany; Gera, Germany; Opole, Poland; Besançon, France; Pskov, Russia; and Pitkäranta, Russia.

Stay tuned for photos and reports! We depart for Finland on Friday, July 16.

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