Kinda and Ydre municipalities of southeast Sweden invite visitors to an exciting American Festival on July 17-24, 2015. The week contains events of many different kinds, with lectures and exhibitions, guided tours, music, theater, open museums and genealogy.

Kinda and Ydre, together with the Andrew Peterson and Peter Cassel societies and in cooperation with the Vasa Order Logen Filbyter, host the festival. They have invited Roger McKnight, professor emeritus of Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, to lecture at the Garden Party in Asby on Sunday, July 19. In his extensive research McKnight has studied the similarities between the fictitious character Karl-Oskar in Vilhelm Moberg's novels and the emigrant Andrew Peterson from Ydre. This research has resulted in several publications in which the striking similarities are exposed.


"I'd like to call my lecture 'Why I wrote the book about Andrew Peterson and Vilhelm Moberg,'" says McKnight, who will also be at the library in Kisa to speak about the Swedes who didn't do quite as well in America, even turning to crime.

The garden party at the Andrew Peterson Museum and Hedner's Park will be filled with activities for all tastes and ages. There will be New Orleans jazz and an exciting theater performance for the kids.

The week starts in Kinda with an open air market day at ”Vråken” and Swedish TV personality Anders Lundin will speak.

Hans Larsson, of the Vasa Order of America, will open Peter Cassel Day on Saturday July 18, and an old fashioned market will be arranged at the local heritage museum in Kisa, with food, crafts, curiosities and entertainment.

As part of the Peter Cassel Day, history professor Lotta Vikström of Umeå University will speak about letters written by female emigrants. Vikström, born and raised in Kisa, has been researching and lecturing since 2003. She has contributed to two research environments at the university, earning several awards. Her research is characterized by the gender perspective that has accompanied her through the years while researching the emigration of both men and women from the Kinda area.

Several fates of emigrants are presented at the exhibition ”The dream of America” at the library in Österbymo. Among them is the unclear story of a trunk that bears witness to great drama during the arduous trip across the Atlantic Ocean. The trunk originally came from the farm Kullarp in Västra Ryd in Ydre.

Hanna Tunberg leads a walk around Näs and with historical foods and dishes. The walk ends with a meal based on ingredients and recipes from the years of emigration, giving a flavor of everyday life during those times.

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