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Swedish Midsommar Festival Celebrates 101 Years!w

The Maypole Dance is Fun for Everyone!

The Maypole Dance is Fun for Everyone!

On Sunday, June 17, Good Templar Park will celebrate the 101st Annual Swedish Midsommar Festival in Geneva, IL. The oldest ethnic festival in Illinois, and believed to be the second oldest in the USA, the 101st Annual Swedish Midsommar Festival takes place from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is rich in Scandinavian traditions, with activities to please people of every heritage.

Join the fun of the largest Maypole dance in the Midwest, led by Linda and Paul Muir. See how Vikings lived at the Viking encampment and learn about sailing across the Atlantic in the Viking ship Raven. A non-denominational worship service at 10 AM, featuring the Swedesong Girls Ensemble with Marguerite Karl, begins the festival. Performances by Swedish musical groups such as the Nordic Dancers of Chicago, the Swedish American Children's Choir, Chicago Spelsmanslag, the Viking Voices of Chicago, and Ernie Sandquist delight visitors. In addition, the popular group Those Funny Little People will be making their second appearance at the festival.

Feast on a traditional Swedish pancake breakfast or a fried herring breakfast. Swedish meatball dinners, sloppy Joes, hamburgers, and hot dogs are also available. Don’t miss the Swedish coffee bread, the mazariner (almond) tarts, and other delicacies at the Kaffe Stuga or coffee house.

Opportunities to explore Scandinavian culture are plentiful at the festival. The Swedish Cottage Walk begins at 11 AM and continues throughout the day. It includes information about the history of the 60 acre park. You can even try speaking Swedish with a mini-Swedish lesson. Viking Ship presentations will give you an up-close look at the replica of the original Gokstad ship that was built circa 850 A.D. Called The Raven, Norway's contribution to the 1893 Columbian Exposition sailed across the Atlantic and through the Great Lakes to become one of the fair's most popular attractions.

Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 are free, as well as anyone in traditional Scandinavian costume. Parking is free. For a short history of the festival, go to youtube:

For more information, call or text 847-845-2640, email or visit

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