Estes Park Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
Estes Park is gearing up to celebrate their annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, which will take place Saturday June 27 and Sunday June 28, from 10 am to 5 pm each day. It is being held downtown at Bond Park, located at the intersection of E. Elkhorn (Rt. 36) and MacGregor.
Scandinavian Midsummer is a colorful festive event of light, flowers, food, music, and dance, which has its roots in the celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Midsummer festivities center around the Maypole, a 20 foot tall pole decorated with live flowers and ribbons. Dancers and musicians encircle the pole with lively music and dancing. In Scandinavia, the revelry continues well into the sunny night.
The festivities begin around 9:30 am Saturday with the raising of the Maypole, followed at 10 am by a Grand March entrance. Costumed representatives from each of the Scandinavian countries enter the park, carrying the flag of their country, and are accompanied by the national anthem of that country played by Ron Tomocik on accordion. Dancing and live music continue throughout the day. There are colorful dance performances, and attendees also have the opportunity to learn some simple Scandinavian dances tought by the Foresman family. The Boulder Scandinavian Dancers, Lindsborg Folkdanslag, Mikko Koski, and Spelemannslag are returning again this year.
The Fjellborg Viking Reenactors are coming back with their recreated tent village, and museum quality reproductions of chests, tools, carvings, weapons and armor. They will be demonstrating various Viking craft and combat skills. This year they will have a six-oarsman Viking ship brought out from the East especially for this festival. The Yrse, a 27 foot replica of a deck ship found on the Gokstad burial ship housed in Oslo, will sail on Lake Estes Friday June 26.
Saturday evening at 8 pm there will be an Open Dance in Bond Park, led by the Boulder Scandinavian Dancers – free and open to the public. At 10 am Sunday morning there will be a short church service at the park, with musical accompaniment by several of the festival performers, followed immediately by more music and dancing.
The park is filled with vendors selling Scandinavian food, baked goods, decorations, and crafts of all kinds. The Vesterheim Lodge Demonstration Tent will have a combination of workshops and/or demonstrations in wood-carving, hardangar and bondesom embroidery, spinning, weaving, Icelandic lace knitting, Danish paper cutting, and a children’s knitting lesson. There will be Rosemaling and Dalamaling painters who will be showing their woodenwares. Rosemaling is the traditional folk painting of Norway, and Dalamaling of Sweden. Finish folk painting can be seen at the Finlandia booth.
Items donated by local merchants and vendors are auctioned off at the silent auction booth. Icelandair is again donating round-trip tickets for two for our raffle.
For more information, a schedule of events, or photos, visit www.estesmidsummer.com.