Picture this, a beautiful day, dancing, delicious food, Nordic craft work, and conversation all around with folk music and a stunning waterfall in the background. Bringing cultures together in this unique celebration is the spirit of the Scandinavian Summer Fest. The day is a combination of both Norway Day and Svenskarnas Dag celebrating the heritage of Norwegian and Swedish Americans together.
Dancing around a May Pole began mid morning and was a chance for spectators to join in on the fun! Talented dancers participated alongside the newbies to help with instruction. It was fun to see everyone come together to celebrate cultures from across the world. Young and old joined hands and sang in a foreign language, perhaps not really knowing what was going on, but they enjoyed themselves nonetheless!
After the large group dancing had ended, the pros got to work!
And of course, after all that dancing, who doesn't need to take a break and enjoy some waffles for lunch?!
Between eating and dancing, spectators could visit the many vendors set up and check out the fabulous Scandinavian art, clothing, crafts, home decor and more. Pictured here is Lisa Erickson of lisarydinerickson.com. When I used the word fabulous, this is the kind of work I was referring to! She designs the artwork on all of her pieces which includes prints, cards, and table linens. I make greeting cards myself, but ended up buying 12 cards from her because I loved them so much.
I also purchased this print from Lisa. How adorable is this winter scene? It isn't Christmas time and I don't have anywhere to hang it, but I snatched it up anyway. Art as special as this will always find a home in my house somewhere eventually. I just wonder what this little guy is up to.... mischief perhaps? Check out her website or her Etsy store to see more of her work here.
Carol Westberg is another vendor worth visiting if you attend upcoming show. I had a lovely conversation with her as she continued to weave away making one of her handcrafted baskets. She is a retired 1st grade teacher and has tapped into her amazing skills making bookmarks, baskets, ornaments, cards, and knitted items in her spare time. One of the best things about spending time with people like Carol is you realize all the connections we have through our excitement in our culture. She is good friends with my old professor Harley Refsal and actually attended school with him. Carol giggled when I told her that I attended school with Harley's son.
Here are the bookmarks she has made. If you are interested in learning more or making a purchase, you can email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet N K M Weaving! This lovely pair shared the story of how they became so entrenched in the world of weaving. It involves a supportive family and continued tradition, but honestly I won't be sharing it here. I have this couple on my schedule to do a guest interview before sharing the full story. In the meantime, relish in their fine craftsmanship shown in their rugs and placemats.
The rugs spanned many different sizes and colors. Pictured here are just a few of the options they had for sale. If you are interested in learning more, you may email Sheila at email@example.com or Juanita at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to check back to see their full story on a future blog post guest interview!
Claie Anne Thoen of Scandinavian-Lion Nordic Art had many stories to share as well. Each design whether it be a print, magnet, or card was designed by Claire herself. Many of her designs have been used by Vesterheim Museum too. Her technique is to use old elements of Scandinavian design and history, but add a new twist to it along the way. Just ask about any of her pieces and you will learn where each detail originated from. For more information check her out here!
Västergötland Society of Minnesota board members are pictured here. The society promotes the Swedish heritage originating from the Västergötland province. They meet at the American Swedish Institute on the second Saturday in February, April, September, October, and November. The group provides support to their members when they travel to the province and assist them with genealogical research. There are membership dues of $10 for an individual and $15 for a household. For more information email email@example.com.
Meet Arne and Ted... these guys... are just a stitch.... They are members of the Norwegian Glee Club of Minneapolis. Hard at work soliciting future members of the club, they were full of stories and laughter. I mean who doesn't love two old guys who can sing, but still practical enough to use pliers and wrenches as paperweights? The group performed as part of the event as well. Learn more at norwegiangleeclub.org and Facebook.com/ngcmpls.
Speaking of manly men..check out these vikings! These guys are members of the Viking Age Club. During the event they offered demonstrations and education about the lifestyles and history of the vikings. To learn more about them check them out here. They also had books for sale during the event.
These two wonderful ladies had so many wonderful things for sale. Pillows, nisse figurines, bookmarks, kitchen linens and more. Email Doris at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ahh yes... my favorite item they had for sale were these kids stuffed vikings. The pants texture and beards varied by each one giving you a wide selection to pick from! Who doesn't want to snuggle with one of these guys?
These wonderful items were made by Carin Ekstrand-Anderson of STITCHESbycarin. Carin was volunteering with other ares of the event so I wasn't able to meet her, but I did grab her card. You can check out more of her work on Instagram @STITCHESbycarin.
Last, but not least... meet Winnie Fernstrom. She has been a busy, busy, busy lady rosemaling loads of different items. She had recipe boxes, scrapbooks, plates, boxes and many more things. For more information you can reach out to Winnie directly at email@example.com.
In typical fashion, the event was loads of fun. I enjoyed meeting the vendors and participating in the dancing. Be sure to check out these local artists and societies for more information. It is never too early to start shopping for Christmas (clearly I have already started).