Scandinavian Midsummer Festival This Weekend In Estes Park
Estes Park is gearing up to celebrate their annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, which will take place Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. This free family event is being held downtown at Bond Park, located at the intersection of E. Elkhorn (Rt. 36) and MacGregor.
Scandinavian Midsummer is a colorful festive event of light, flowers, food, music, and dance, which has its roots in the celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Midsummer festivities center around the Maypole, a 20 foot tall pole decorated with live flowers and ribbons. Dancers and musicians encircle the pole with lively music and dancing. In Scandinavia, the revelry continues well into the sunny night.
The festivities begin around 9:30 a.m. Saturday with the raising of the Maypole, followed at 10 a.m. by a Grand March entrance. Costumed representatives from each of the Scandinavian countries enter the park carrying their national flag, accompanied by the Scandinavian national anthems. Dancing and live music continue throughout the day. There are colorful dance performances, and attendees also have the opportunity to learn some simple Scandinavian dances taught by the Foresman family. The Lindsborg Folkdanslag, Norwegian Society of Texas Leikarringen, Decorah Nordic Dancers, Ron Tomocik, and Muggy’s Uff-Da Band are scheduled performers. Leslie Remmert Soich and Ron Tomocik will lead the opening ceremonies. Ron is also our wandering accordion minstral at the festival.
The Fjellborg Viking Re-enactors are coming back with their recreated tent village, and museum quality reproductions of chests, tools, carvings, weapons and armor. They will be demonstrating various Viking craft and combat skills.
At 10 a.m. Sunday morning there will be a short church service at the park, with musical accompaniment by several of the festival performers, followed immediately by more music and dancing.
The park is filled with vendors selling Scandinavian food, baked goods, decorations, and crafts of all kinds. The Demonstration Tent is planning a combination of workshops and/or demonstrations in hardangar and bondesom embroidery, Norwegian selbu and Icelandic lace knitting, carding, spinning and felting. 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. Finnish folk painting can be seen at the Finlandia booth. Lefse-making demonstrations are also planned.
Items donated by local merchants and vendors are auctioned off at the silent auction booth. Icelandair is again donating round-trip tickets for two for the raffle.
For more information, a schedule of events, or photos, visit www.estesmidsummer.com.