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The oldest ethnic festival in Illinois, and believed to be the second oldest in the USA, the 100th Annual Swedish Midsommar Festival is steeped in Scandinavian traditions, with activities that will please everyone. 

Learn about sailing across the Atlantic in the Viking ship Raven and enjoy the fun in the largest Maypole dance in the Midwest, led by Linda and Paul Muir. See how Vikings lived at the Viking encampment. A non-denominational worship service at 10 AM, featuring the Swedesong Girls Ensemble with Marguerite Karl, kicks off the festival. Performances by Swedish musical groups such as the Nordic Dancers of Chicago, the Swedish American Children's Choir, Chicago Spelsmanslag, the Viking Voices of Chicago, Ernie Sandquist, The Kaars, and the Pearson Family will please visitors.


Feast on a traditional Swedish pancake or fried herring breakfast.  Swedish meatball dinners, sloppy Joes, hamburgers, and hot dogs are also available. Dont miss the Swedish coffee bread, the mazariner (almond) tarts, and other delicacies at the Kaffe Stuga (coffee house).

Opportunities to explore Scandinavian culture are plentiful at the festival.  The Swedish Cottage Walk begins at 11 AM and continues throughout the day. It includes information about the history of the 60 acre park. You can try speaking Swedish with a mini-Swedish lesson taught by Inez Tornblom.  Viking Ship presentations will give you insight in the replica of the original Gokstad ship that was built around the year 850 A.D. The replica, called The Raven, sailed across the Atlantic and through the Great Lakes to become one of the most popular attractions at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

Good Templar Park is a beautiful nature preserve. The colorful cottages that dot the landscape feature handmade furniture, cross stitch samplers, tomte (gnomes), flowing lace curtains, and fireplace mantles with wooden shoes.  Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 are free, as well as anyone in traditional Scandinavian costume. Parking is free.

For more information:
C
all or text: 847-845-2640
E-mail: swedishday@gmail.com
Website: www.swedishday.net

 

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