The Lead-Up to St. Patrick’s Day Fun

St. Patrick's Day is such a big celebration here on the Whitefish Chain that we start the celebration ahead of time.

Crosslake's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which will be March 18, is the second largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the state. It's a day when the town with a population of just 2,000 grows to 10,000-plus. To make the most of the fun, we start early.

On March 11, Crosslake will celebrate a mythical Finnish saint with the St. Urho's Day Grasshopper Hop. It's a Finland-themed pub crawl that features games of skill at each location on the crawl. For $10, get a wristband for safe ride passage from bar to bar. Test your skill at each bar and record your points. Prizes and a trophy will be awarded to the best scoring teams!

Participating bars include Andy's, Bourbon Room, Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion, Cedar Chest, Maucieri's, Moonlite Bay, Manhattan's, Riverside, the Wharf and Zorbaz. Register for the hop at any of these establishments. The Grasshopper Hop starts at 11:30 a.m. and wraps up at 4:30 p.m. March 11.

As the story goes, the legend of St. Urho was started in northern Minnesota in the 1950s. The legend is that St. Urho drove hordes of grasshoppers out of Finland to save the grape crop. How'd he do it? With the phrase, "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, mena taalta hiiteen!" which, roughly translated, means "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to hell!" Traditionally St. Urho's Day is celebrated March 16.

According to Wikipedia, St. Urho was created by Finnish-American Richard Mattson, who worked at a department store in Virginia, Minnesota. He and his coworker, Gee McCavic, wrote a tale about Urho driving frogs out of Finland.

The story changed, though, and the frogs became grasshoppers who were banished to save the grape crop. This version of the story is attributed to Dr. Sulo Havumaki, a psychology professor at Bemidji State University. Menahga even has a statue of St. Urho, complete with a giant grasshopper impaled on Urho's trident.

In the past, the coordinators of the St. Urho's Grasshopper Hop have asked participants to celebrate by wearing the "traditional" colors of the saint, purple and green. Wear your Crosslake St. Pat's blinkie button for extra specials! Blinkie buttons are $5 and available at businesses across Crosslake. The deals you get with your blinkie button will be available through the weekend of the parade!

For more information about the event, check out the Crosslake Chamber website or Crosslake Chamber Parade Facebook page.

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