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This week we commemorate the 101st Independence Day to remember the first day of freedom in Estonia. We remember the sacrifices of individuals who confronted the challenges of obtaining this freedom and, finally, regaining this freedom. I wish all a joyful day as each community honors and applauds our fatherland’s accomplishments.


I am also honored to invite you to the biennial West Coast Estonian Festival, which will occur in Portland from the 31st of July through the 4th of August 2019. Please join us in celebrating our Estonian culture through choral music, folk dance, and instrumental music, and in sharing our love for our fatherland with longtime friends and new-found friends. Here is a summary of key events.


Wednesday evening’s Opening Celebration is the kick off to the 34th West Coast Estonian Days, with tributes to our member communities and with presentations that offer a taste of the Days’ entertainment and activities.


For Thursday’s Folk Festival we travel 33 km to 63-acre forested Alderbrook Park in Brush Prairie, Washington, for a relaxing day outdoors. The venue promises a variety of leisure activities for young and  old alike. On site recreational amenities include nature trails, swimming pool with sun deck, children’s playground, peddle boat lake; frisbee golf, volleyball and horseshoe areas. Check their website: 


Friday is a day of choices galore!


• The afternoon Dance Festival is a gift from folk dance troupes from Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and Tallinn. Come enjoy our colorful program.


• Local Unistus Chamber Choir and guests Kirderannik Choir from Estonia present a joint concert.


• Friday and Saturday mornings’ Seminars are scheduled as short, informational sessions to inform you of current projects and stir curiosity. 


• Theatre company Varius has been invited from Tallinn to provide us with theatrical events.


Saturday is another jampacked day!


• Fraternities gather at the Academic Luncheon to practice traditions and renew ties. Those seeking to know more about these organizations and their activities are welcome.


The Song Festival will feature music enthusiasts from throughout the US, Canada and Estonia. Estonians are a singing people and this year marks the 150th anniversary of our first national song festival in 1869. We are excited to present some of our favorite works in celebrating this anniversary with you.


The Grand Ball is Saturday evening – What can we say? Formal and memorable. 


Our Days culminate on Sunday in the Closing ceremony worship service with Concert, officiated by Rev. Mart Salumäe from Toronto and Rev. Hendrik Laur from Olympia. The combined choirs will perform music honoring Roman Toi.


Kuld Lõvi is our Days’ gathering area, a place to meet up with friends throughout the day. And each day doesn’t end until you’ve spent a few hours mingling with friends and enjoying the entertainment (including invited Onud from Estonia) into the night.


Ticket sales will begin as soon as costs associated with visiting performers are finalized. We are working to provide you the best value! Check our website


Let us gather with our families to celebrate the perseverance, strength, and beauty of our homeland, and spark in every individual the motivation to promote our culture and works in his or her community. Bring with you hope for a secured future!


May we continue our journey in the hope that we find goodness and strength with God’s blessing.


Kalle Merilo,


Estonian League of the West Coas


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