Spring Grove celebrates the bicentenary
Dianne Enger Snell
The small progressive community of Spring Grove, Minnesota, will host a bicentenary celebration on October 18 and 19 in honor of the 1814 signing of the Norwegian Constitution at Eidsvoll.
Events will include the dedication of the Enger Memorial Garden at the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, and the unveiling of a bronze statue in honor of beloved Norwegian painter and teacher Sigmund Årseth, 1936-2012, along with an art exhibit featuring works by him and a number of his students.
Giants of the Earth Heritage Center is housed in the historic Ballard House at 163 West Main Street. “Giants” was incorporated in 2009 as a non-profit educational institution, dedicated to honoring, preserving, and interpreting the heritage of the immigrants who settled at Spring Grove’s Norwegian Ridge, cited as Minnesota’s first Norwegian immigrant settlement.
The weekend festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Cinema on Main Street, followed at 3:00 p.m. by a ribbon-cutting at the Enger Garden by Enger descendant Irene Navarre, and a garden tour led by designer Steve Kemp. Peder and Aase Enger were early Spring Grove pioneers from Eggedal, Norway.
At 3:30 p.m. the life-sized bronze sculpture of Årseth will be unveiled and introduced by sculptor Craig Bergsgaard, followed by an exhibit of art by Årseth’s students. Entertainment will feature the Thankful Brass on the deck at 5:45 p.m., followed by a bicentenary celebration dinner and auction including some rare Sigmund Årseth creations.
For a complete listing of the weekend’s activities please go to springgrovemnheritagecenter.org, or to confirm your participation please call Karen at (507) 450-1373 or Diane at (203) 858-7730.
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 10, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.