We invite all who share a love of Estonia and Estonian culture to KLENK 2011, which will be held Friday-Saturday, January 6-7, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Florida. We plan to start late Friday afternoon and continue all day Saturday and Saturday evening. The annual KLENK business meeting will be held Sunday morning, January 8, 2012.
Founded in 1958, this will be the 54th year that KLENK (Estonian Society of the Midwest) hosts its annual conference on Estonian culture and fellowship.
By popular vote at KLENK 2010 in Chicago, KLENK members decided to host KLENK 2011 outside its traditional Thanksgiving weekend midwestern region. For the first time, KLENK will be co-hosted by the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (Estonian Society of Central Florida) and the Lõuna Florida Eestlaste Koondis (Estonian National Association of South Florida) since many KLENK members now live as year round residents and snowbirds outside the Midwest. The Florida Estonian associations welcome this opportunity to co-host KLENK 2011 in the southeast and invite all KLENK members and Estophiles beyond KLENK as we hope to make even more new friends in this new setting.
KLENK 2011 Location
To take advantage of the sub-tropical Florida setting, the conference will be held in the Magnuson Hotel at Marina Cove, 6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711, which is located on beautiful Tampa Bay at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. With its sandy beach, swimming pool, children’s playground, and setting on Tampa Bay, we hope KLENK participants will find the favorable nightly rate of $79 enticing ($88.48 total per room per night including taxes, up to four occupants at no additional charge). Parking and resort fees are included in the hotel rate. The rate applies up to three days prior to the start of the conference and may be continued up to three days after the conference. Check-in is 4:00 pm; let the hotel know if your travel plans call for an earlier check-in. Call the hotel directly to make your reservation; telephone toll free 800.227.8045; direct 727.864.4494. Let the reservations agent know you are attending the “Estonian Conference.” Hotel reservations must be made by December 16, 2011 to receive the favorable rate in a block of rooms reserved for this conference.
Airlines flying to Tampa International Airport have competitive rates in early January. Some airlines fly to the St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport, too. Easy car rentals are available at the airports. Super Shuttle at the Tampa Airport offers good round trip rates.
The KLENK 2011 planning committee is working to complete KLENK’s program. Once again, we hope to offer an engaging program of music, theatre and lectures on Estonian culture in addition to all the wonderful fellowship that takes place in our free time. This year, too, for the first time, acknowledging that English is the language of currency around the world, most lectures will be given in English. Of course, Estonian will be spoken here! Music to our ears, we encourage Estonian, once voted the second most beautiful language in the world (sõida tasa üle silla)!
If you have an idea for a presentation (lecture, music, dance, theatre, visual art exhibition, etc.) that you would like the planning committee to consider for the program, please send an email to KLENKFlorida@gmail.com by October 24, 2011. Please remember that traditionally participants in the program register for KLENK and cover their own travel expenses. This way, we can embrace the many talents of the members of our community on the KLENK program and hold down registration costs for everyone.
The registration form is forthcoming in early Novem-ber and will be posted on the KLENK web site (www.floridaestos.wordpress.com) .
We hope you will join us at KLENK 2011 Sõpruspäevad, January 6-7, 2012 (and annual business meeting Sunday morning, January 8, 2012), St. Petersburg, Florida!