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Chain opens northernmost restaurant near Arctic Circle

November 28, 1997

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) _ The Northern Lights will be getting some competition from the glow of the Golden Arches when McDonald’s opens its northernmost restaurant, just south of the Arctic Circle.

The chain plans a Dec. 4 ceremony featuring bonfires and illuminated ice sculptures to kick off its outlet in Rovaniemi, 515 miles north of Helsinki.

Rovaniemi has about 35,000 people and annually attracts an estimated 500,000 tourists, who come to see the Lapland wilderness that begins at the edge of town or to check out Rovaniemi’s claim to be the home of Santa Claus.

``We will be tapping into this flow of tourists,″ said Kim Hanslin, marketing director of McDonald’s Finland.

The southernmost McDonald’s restaurant is in Invercargill, New Zealand, about 13,600 miles from Rovaniemi.

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