The World Gold Panning Championships began in Tankavaara, in the magical landscape of Finnish Lapland in 1977. This summer the gold rush of Lapland will turn 150 years old as the World Championships return to their roots by bringing together gold panning competitors from 26 countries. The Gold Panning World Championships Festival will take place in Tankavaara Gold Village, Sodankylä on 5th – 10th of August.
The World Championships in Lapland are a great experience for the whole family, whether they come to compete or to watch. Before the World Championships, the Finnish Open Gold Panning Championships also happens there, on the August 2nd – 3rd. The whole week consists of different competitions, entertainment and activities. During the championships you can experience the magical endless day of the Arctic summer, which is very special with its 24/7 sunlight. The event program and schedule are updated on the event’s site www.tankavaaragold.fi.
There is also a category for beginner gold panners, so if you haven’t tried it before, you can still take part in the competition: but others are pro-panners, naturally! The rules of the competition are quite easy: the winner is the one who finds all the hidden gold nuggets the fastest! Both Championships will be organized in cooperation with the Gold Prospectors Association of Finnish Lapland together with Tankavaara Gold Village.
Maintaining History – Gold panning in a responsible way
At Tankavaara Gold Village, gold is still panned on a small scale. The village is home to real gold prospectors, who are prospecting ‘the old way’ with a shovel. In recent years, the community has worked hard to make the whole process of gold-panning in the area more ecological and responsible, resulting in their own Certified Gold of Lapland network. By joining the network, the prospector and gold- and jewelry-smiths can get their gold ecologically and responsibly certified. Certified gold prospectors are committed to following mining and environmental legislations and the orders and instructions given by the controlling authorities. They also aim to carry out the mining guidelines given by The Gold Prospectors Association of Finnish Lapland and to develop more environmentally friendly actions all the time.
“We are very happy to invite everyone to Tankavaara to experience the spirit of gold panning. When you try it yourself, it’s easy to see why finding gold with your own hands has caused such a rush in a history. It still has the same magic today.” says Marko Touru, owner and CEO of the Gold Village. He holds the World Gold Panning Championship title in the two-person team category, has gathered over 100 medals for individual and team competitions all over the world and also participates in the competition.
The experiences of Tankavaara Gold Village and surroundings
Tankavaara is located in an area of Finnish Lapland called Sompio. This areas also houses the Gold Prospector Museum, where visitors can get information on the gold prospecting history of Finland and the rest of the world. Tankavaara Gold Village offers daily gold panning activities as well as cottage and apartment accommodation. The restaurant ‘Old Gold Prospector’ is open every day. Gold Village accommodations are in the surrounding area, and camping is also situated near the competition area. The magical landscape of Lapland is nearby and easy to reach. Urho Kekkonen National Park is a stone’s throw from Tankavaara, an area full of nature trails leading to spectacular views. Reindeer can be seen in Sompio anytime, anywhere. Tankavaara is easy to reach by flying to Lapland’s main airports at Ivalo and Rovaniemi and continuing by bus or car.