20th Annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival June 23-24
Estes Park will be celebrating their 20th annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival on Saturday June 23 from 9:30-5, and Sunday the 24th from 9:30-4. It is being held downtown at Bond Park, located at the intersection of E. Elkhorn (Rte. 36) and MacGregor.
The non-profit festival is managed by the Sons of Norway lodge in Boulder, Colorado – Vesterheim 6-118. The lodge took over the festival five years ago when the former sponsor was unable to continue. This small 100 member lodge runs the festival, and also has a food tent with baked goods made by lodge members. Vesterheimʼs aim is to educate the public about Scandinavian traditions and culture, and provide a place where local Scandinavians can gather to re-experience their heritage.
The festivities begin around 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the raising of the Maypole, followed at 10 by a Grand March entrance. Costumed representatives from each of the Scandinavian countries enter the park carrying the flag of their country, followed by the national anthems sung by Leslie Soich, accompanied on accordion by Ron Tomocik. Dancing and live music continue throughout the day, with opportunities for audience to learn some simple dances. Heading the entertainment will be Swedenʼs pop singer and multi-instrumentalist Elin Palmer, playing on Saturday with her band. Dancers include the Lindsborg Swedish Folkdanslag, Norwegian Society of Texas Leikarringenm, M&M Dancers, and Edelweiss Schuhplattlers. New this year is the inclusion of Norwegian Lundehunds and Fjord horses on site. At 10 a.m. Sunday morning there will be a short church service at the park,
The Fjellborg Viking Re-enactors will be there with their encampment and museum quality reproductions of chests, tools, carvings, weapons and armor. They will be demonstrating various Viking craft and combat skills.
The park is filled with vendors selling Scandinavian food, baked goods, decorations, and crafts of all kinds. The Craft Demonstration Tent will have a combination of workshops and demonstrations, including hardangar and Swedish huck embroidery, spinning, lace knitting, and childrenʼs knitting lessons. There will be Rosemaling and Dalamaling painters who will be showing their woodenwares. Rosemaling is the traditional folk painting of Norway, and Dalamaling of Sweden. At the Lefse Tent one can see demonstrations on how to prepare these famous thin Norwegian potato pancakes.
Items donated by local merchants and vendors are auctioned off at the Silent Auction Booth. Icelandair is again donating round-trip tickets for two to Scandinavia for the Raffle Booth. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday.