Sons of Norway to celebrate the official start of summer

Dating back to the days of the Vikings, the longest day of the year, also commonly called Midsummer, has been celebrated for generations. Members of the Leif Erikson Sons of Norway will once again host a Midsummer celebration at the Vining Community Center. The event will be held on Thursday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m.

The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. The event will kick off at 3:30 p.m. with the “dressing” of the Midsummer pole (decorating the Midsummer pole with flowers and vines, artificial or fresh). Once decorated the Midsummer pole will be raised on the lawn. There will be a parade led by the Skål Musik musicians with each Nordic country flag carried followed by all the participants. The parade will include going around the Midsummer pole, music and games around the pole.

The Skål musicians from Nisswa, near Brainard, Minn. will also perform next week. The trio is from the larger Skål Musician organization which is recognized nationally, and especially in the Midwest, where they are regulars at Nordic Festivals in Minneapolis, Fargo, Hjemkomst Fest in Moorhead, Høstfest in Minot, N.D. and even internationally where they have toured. In addition to playing an old army-chaplain pump organ, they play the fiddle, button accordion, piano accordion and more.

The flags of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and the Sami flag (formerly known as Lapland) will be carried in the parade following the musicians. All participants are welcomed in the parade. The parade will conclude at the potluck table.

  Participants are asked to bring flowers and vines, fresh or artificial, to place on the  pole. For the potluck dinner participants are asked to bring food to share—hot dish, veggie plate, salad, dessert or for those who don’t cook, stop by the store for chips, bread, butter, herring, cake, cookies, ice cream and more.

Leif Erikson of Vining is a non-profit organization with nearly 140 members that provides monthly Nordic programs for the community to learn and enjoy Nordic culture and customs. Midsummer is one of the major programs. The group has received grants for community programs from Thrivent, Foundation of Sons of Norway, Lake Region Arts Council and from the District One of Sons of Norway to provide entertainment, publicity for this Midsummer program. 

For information about this program, other programs and membership to support Nordic heritage and culture, contact co-presidents Tom or Ann Rasmusson at (605) 999-4839 or (218) 862-5066, or publicity director Barbara Olson at (218) 282-0332.