Welcome to the Sata-Häme Soi
Accordion Festival in
Ikaalinen, Finland
Home Monday, June 30
2003 Ikaalinen Festival Tuesday, July 1
Welcome to Ikaalinen Wednesday, July 2
Finland at a Glance Thursday, July 3
Golden Accordion Award Friday, July 4
Meet Maria Kalaniemi Saturday, July 6
Festival Faces Sunday, July 7

2003 Sata-Häme Soi - Closing Ceremony

After one week of superb accordion music representing a diverse range of styles in a variety of settings, the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen, Finland officially came to a close with an impressive and formal Closing Ceremony.

Attended by former Prime Minister and current Speaker of the House - Paavo Lipponen, the closing ceremony featured several of the performers from the week long festival which drew well over 36,000 people. In addition to the selected performances, festival organizers offered official thanks and presented some awards.

Sata-Häme Soi Director Minna Kulmala is pictured here talking to ex Prime Minister Lipponen and his daughter before the Ceremony.

Festival director Minna Kulmala and Music Director Kimmo Mattila gave thanks to all who had helped make the festival possible. They presented several awards w to people who had helped considerably during the festival by volunteering their time and effort to make sure the event went smoothly. These honors went to:

  • Leila JärvinenKari Ahokoivu
  • Matti Huusari
  • Keskustori/Markku Jortikka
  • Susanna Hakala
  • Hollolan Harmonikat

The former Prime Minister of Finland (as recently as March) Paavo Lipponen (who is now Speaker of the House, making him one of the three most important people in the Finnish Governement together with president Tarja Halonen and actual prime minister Matti Vanhanen) gave an address to the standing room only outdoor audience.

Mr. Lipponen was in Ikaalinen for the last day of the festival as well as to give an interview with Minna Plihtari, Public Relations Manager for the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival.


Closing Ceremony Snapshots
The 2003 Golden Accordion Award Winner is 21 year old Janne Mäkinen from Rauma. The 2003 Silver Accordion Award winner is nine year old Vilma Avikainen from Mikkeli. A little rain didn't deter young Pavel Zyabko from Moscow as he waits for his turn to perform.

Festival director Minna Kulmala and Music Director Kimmo Mattila dressed in national costume backstage with some of the young accordionists that are waiting to perform. Public Relations Manager for the Sata-Häme Soi Minna Plihtari kept the Press Releases, pictures and Finnish Internet updated throughout the festival.

Festival Director Minna Kulmala giving thanks during the Closing Ceremony. CIA President and Accordions Worldwide Festival Reporter Kevin Friedrich (far right) pictured with the Sata-Häme Soi team members Kimmo Mattila, Minna Plihtari and Minna Kulmala.

The Tatar Folk Instruments Orchestra of The State Conservatory of Kasan

Local accordionists Petri and Pasi Raukola playing the popular Finnish Waltz "Kesäillian Valssi" or Midsummer Night Waltz. Sata-Häme Soi Music Director - Kimmo Mattila as he leads an ensemble of young accordionists.

In and Around Ikaalinen
Accordions Worldwide Festival Reporter
Kevin Friedrich and the Ikaalinen Accordion.
Of course, in Ikaalinen, you might end up riding around in an accordion Bus!

Seems like the Finns have combined their love of sport with their skiing ability and made a unique version of Roller Blading. Taken at 1:00 AM, this water spout on Lake Kyrösjärvi makes a lovely picture during the long summer nights where it never gets dark.

Beware of the Moose! The sign tells it all...