This Saturday is Midsommar Festival at the American Swedish Institute.
I did some quick, non-Wikipedia research on the history of Midsommar for you so you could be educated.
The Swedish Midsommar has different names throughout Scandinavia: Finnish Juhannus, Danish Sankt Hans Aften, Norwegian Sankhansaften–probaby due to the languages they speak. But each festival is celebrated typically on the third Friday of June (closest to the 21st) to make it a three day weekend. Folks travel out to the country to enjoy a large gathering where they eat herring and boiled new potatoes, raise a maypole, and burn a symbolic straw witch in a bonfire (to remember the witch burnings in the 1500’s and 1600’s).
However, I do not believe that we need to worry about that so much. In fact, the ASI is celebrating Midsommar right in the heart of Minneapolis. They will have a maypole, but there will be no straw witch burning. There will be food, but not just herring and boiled new potatoes. They aren’t even celebrating on technically the correct day.
Basically, this is a really fun party and is one of those perfect-for-the-whole-family events! Festivities begin at 10:00 am and wrap up by 5:00 pm. The maypole is being raised at 11:30 am and dancing will commence at 1:30 pm and again at 3:30 pm.
Here is the schedule of performers.
10:30 AM ASI Male Chorus Outdoor Stage
11:00 AM Ballade Outdoor Stage
11:30 AM MIDSOMMAR POLE RAISING Outdoor Stage
12:00 PM ASI Spelmanslag Outdoor Stage
12:00 PM Ballade Turnblad Mansion
12:15 PM Kisarit Finnish American Folk Dancers Larson Hall
12:30 PM Remarks from Bruce Karstadt, ASI President and CEO
Lilly Lorénzen Scholarship Awardee Announcement Outdoor Stage
1:00 PM ASI Cloudberries Outdoor Stage
1:15 PM Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble Larson Hall
1:30 PM MIDSOMMAR POLE DANCING Outdoor Stage
1:30 PM Twin Cities Hardingfelelag Turnblad Mansion
1:45 PM Kisarit Too Larson Hall
2:00 PM Nordic Bees Outdoor Stage
2:00 PM Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble Turnblad Mansion
2:15 PM Vasa Jr. Folk Dancers Larson Hall
2:30 PM Twin Cities Hardingfelelag Outdoor Stage
2:30 PM Finn Hall Trio Turnblad Mansion
3:00 PM Diane Jarvi Outdoor Stage
3:30 PM MIDSOMMAR POLE DANCING Outdoor Stage
4:00 PM Kaze Quartet Outdoor Stage
4:30 PM Ellinor & Leonor Outdoor Stage
ASI Museum Shop Open NCC First Floor
Craft Demonstrations & Vendors — Mansion Lawn & Historic Driveway
Face Painting Mansion –Veranda
Family Handcraft Activity — Studio Classroom
Floral Head Wreath Making — Mansion Lawn
Gustavus Adolphus College Suite Open
Selling Ma Young’s Rye Bread + Swedish Vocab Activity — GAC Suite
Mansion Room & Exhibit Interpretation Turnblad Mansion
Midsommar Market Courtyard
Nature Play — Mansion Lawn
Storytelling (on the half hour) — Childrens’ Garden
Wallenberg Library & Archives Open — Mansion Lower Level
And of course, there will be food
Main Food Tent– Courtyard
Bar & Coffee –Courtyard
Ice Cream — Mansion Veranda
Midsommar is free for ASI members and for children under the age of 5. For those of us who aren’t members, tickets are $10 adults, $5 ages 6–18.
I’m sure it will be busy, but it will be so worth it for this annual Scandinavian party!
If you are unable to attend ASI’s Midsommar, Gammelgarten in Scandia will be hosting Midsommar Dag the following Saturday, June 21 (the Summer Solstice).
Children’s Activities 11:30 to 12:30
Arts and Crafts Fair
Gazebo Food Sales begin at 10:30
Smörgåsbord at Elim Church: Cost $12.00 adult/ $8.00 child
Raising of the Majstång followed by program and entertainers 1:00
More information: 651-433-5053
While I want to say that I think this one will be less busy, it probably won’t be. But don’t let the Swedish/Scandanavian people of Minnesota scare you away from a great party.