As part of Finland's centennial celebrations, a Traveling Sauna is currently making its way across the United States. The Traveling Sauna has been widely promoted on social media, and it has attracted the attention of local media and brought attention to Finland's centennial events, as well as to Finnish and Finnish-American organizations and their operations.
Having started its 12-month-journey in Minnesota in January 2017, the Traveling Sauna reached California on March 5. The Traveling Sauna's visit in Duarte in L.A. County was linked to 626 Golden Streets festival, a free sports and well-being event attracting tens of thousands of visitors.
626 Golden Streets is the largest street festival in the United States, comprising 18 miles of open streets, 7 cities (Duarte being one of them), and offering a variety of activities such as yoga, Zumba and dance classes. The streets were closed to "motorized transportation", i.e. people were free to walk, bike, skate and jog on the streets. Additionally, there was live entertainment like music, chalk artists and friendly sasquatch, as well as vendors and other businesses on display. According to the festival organizers, 100,000 people in total took part in the event.
Visitors at the festival had a chance to experience and bathe in an authentic wood-heated Finnish sauna, learn about the Finnish sauna culture and share experiences with other first-time-goers. People were enthusiastic about the possibility to see an actual outdoor sauna and learn more about Finland and its culture. Next, the Traveling Sauna will make its way to northern California, and in April people can experience Finnish sauna culture in Oregon and Washington.
More information about the Traveling Sauna: www.travelingsauna.com