More than 700 people came to enjoy traditional Scandinavian music, food, baked goods and merchandise at the Divine Savior Catholic Church in Orangevale, Cal. on October 9.
A large Viking Ship parked on a trailer marked the spot for the 27th annual Scandinavian Festival—a true celebration of the Nordic heritage. The parking lot filled up quickly and a long line of excited visitors were waiting as the doors opened.
It was not an easy task to figure out which specialty from which country to eat first. Sweden served Smörgåstårta, open-faced sandwiches with lax and cream cheese or shrimp and egg, meatballs with potato and gravy, Swedish pancakes with lingonberry; Norway offered plain lefse or lefse with pølse (hot dog) and Viking-on-a-stick; Finland had salmon soup, berry whip and blueberry pie; and, for your coffee what else but an authentic Danish danish.
There were handiwork demonstrations, too. It was incredible to watch the Gold Country Lacemakers throw the thread and then see the delicate, fine lace appear. Visitors of all ages could try their own hand at wheat weaving of anything from bracelets and brooches to wall decorations.
Vendors from near and far Fifteen vendors from all over northern California offered Scandinavian items. June Hess of Svensk Butik came all the way from Kingsburg to show Santas, painted “perennial” advent calendars and other Christmas items. Maimerth Loken of Mi Design offered hand painted clogs and welcome signs, and Solweig Sandell of Solweig’s Import showcased everything from small trolls to gold Bismarck necklaces. Throughout the year members of the different Scandinavian organizations made items to sell at this event, too.
Svenska skolan (Swedish School) in Sacramento let visitors know they offer classes for all ages, and the children perform a Lucia pageant at IKEA Sacramento.
The day’s entertainment was the El Dorado Scandinavian Dancers, which performed traditional Scandinavian dances. El Dorado meets regularly in the Sacramento area, teaches classes and performs at Scandinavian events.
Everyone paused to honor the flag ceremony, during which each country was represented by a person wearing the traditional folk costume who walked to the podium to the tune of the country’s national anthem—including the U.S. in a military uniform.
The Sacramento Scandinavian Festival Association is a board of 17 members that started work on the celebration in March this year. The association consists of five lodges: Sons of Norway, Daughters of Norway, Finlandia Club and two VASA Swedish lodges—Monitor Lodge and Sierra Krona Lodge. Danneborg (Denmark) Lodge was not able to participate this year. About 75 people from the different lodges helped to cook, sell food and drinks, offer lodge-made crafts, inform about the Scandinavian countries and make the day a great joy for all visitors.
A true viking, Scott Matthew belongs to both Vasa Lodge Monitor and Sierra Krona.