Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival
June 15, 16 & 17, 2018
The Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival has been a tradition on the North Coast of Oregon for over forty years. The Festival takes place typically on the 3rd full weekend of June. The festival embodies the rich cultural heritage that was transplanted to the Astoria, Oregon region by emigrating Scandinavians. In the Pacific Northwest they found the same bounteous seas and forests as in their native lands and the demand for their skills at managing them. During the three days of the festival over a dozen Scandinavian musical, dance, and theater groups are scheduled to entertain . Retail booths will offer handcrafts, Scandinavian import items, and traditional Scandinavian foods.
HERITAGE TRADITION FAMILY FOOD FUN
STAY TUNED! MORE UPDATES TO FOLLOW
2017 Santa Lucia Festival
A Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association Event
7 PM, Friday, November 24, 2017, at Astoria High School Auditorium
In Scandinavia “Santa Lucia” is celebrated in December, but in Astoria on the North Coast of Oregon, this winter festival of lights is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving to tie in with the opening of the Christmas season. The 2017 Santa Lucia Festival will be held at 7:00 PM on Friday, November 24, at the Astoria High School Auditorium and Commons area. The musical entertainment starts at 6:30 PM and there will be refreshments and public dancing after the Santa Lucia Ceremony. This year, The North Coast Chorale and the Dowaliby Sisters will be performing, as well as The Squeezer and the Geezer (aka Coreen Bergholm on accordion and Ken Presthus on tuba and trombone).
In Sweden the preferred spelling is “Sankta Lucia” for the title of the young woman chosen to lead the procession of attendants in white robes and young men called “Star Boys”. Kara Dowaliby, who was Miss Sweden for the 2017 Scandinavian Festival Court, will be the Lucia Bride and wear a crown of candles on her head. Other members of the 2017 court will be Lucia attendants. The new Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Court for 2018 will be introduced.
You do not have to be Scandinavian to participate and enjoy this fun evening. Everyone is invited to leave the Thanksgiving left-overs and shopping and come listen to good music, sing some Christmas Carols, mingle with friends and dance.
Admission is $1 or $5 per family with all admission funds going to the Scandinavian Festival Scholarship Fund administered by the Astoria High School Scholarships, Inc. For more information, contact Loran Mathews at 503-325-6136.
ARRIVAL to return to 2018 festival
By popular demand, ARRIVAL, Canada’s tribute to ABBA, will return to the 2018 Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. The band performed to a large and enthusiastic audience at last year’s 50th anniversary festival and there have been many requests from people who want to see the show again and from people who missed it to bring this group back. There will be one performance only at 7 PM on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. It is possible that in addition to ABBA, the group might also perform their tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Details and ticket information will be announced later. Admission to the ARRIVAL concert also includes admission to the festival after 5 PM. Shopping, snacks, a Viking dinner, and beverages will be available and the beer garden will be open before and after the show. There will be a free public dance with Scandinavian Country after the show. Don’t miss this experience to enjoy classic feel-good tunes from an outstanding tribute band. Bring your friends and enjoy a summer evening you’ll talk about for years.
Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival crowns Miss Finland 2017 Queen
The opening ceremonies of the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival on June 16 included the crowning of Miss Finland Megan Schacher as Miss Scandinavia 2017. Her sister Aimee was Miss Finland and Miss Scandinavia in 2013 and her mother Melissa was Miss Finland and Miss Scandinavia in 1991. Megan Schacher’s Finnish great-great-grandparents immigrated to the United States independently, met in Montana, and later moved to Hammond, Oregon. Schacher says that her Finnish heritage and traditions bring her connections to the community and that she could not imagine her life without them.
Runner up for 2017 is Miss Sweden Kara Dowaliby. Kara’s sister Meg was Miss Sweden and Miss Scandinavia in 2012. Mother Dixie was Miss Sweden in 1983. Kara Dowaliby will reign as the Lucia Bride in November for the festival sponsored Sankta Lucia Fest on the day after Thanksgiving. Dowaliby’s great-great-grandparents were a Finn and a Swede who met at a popular dance hall now known as Josephson’s Seafoods. Their dream continues for future generations.
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival has allowed local Scandinavians to celebrate their traditions and share them with the community and visitors who travel from near and far. This year was the 50th annual festival and will not be the last. Dowaliby’s speech had a message for young people in the community. “We need to carry the torch as it is passed.” She encourages interested young people and adults to join a Scandinavian lodge or the dance group or work in the booths or help with set up and clean-up of the festival or both to ensure that the traditions and the festival survive. Scandinavian heritage is not required, only an interest in all things Scandinavian.
Other young women who represented the festival in 2017 include retiring Miss Scandinavia 2016 Megan McCall-Devos, Miss Denmark Sophia Hansen, and Miss Norway Maya McGill.
Join us at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds located at
92937 Walluski Loop in Astoria, Oregon.
Feature Entertainers for 2018 Festival Announced
Storis Limpan of Sweden will be the featured entertainers for the 2018 festival.
Magnus Holmström from Sweden is a three time world champion on Nyckelharpa. He started playing the nyckelharpa at age twelve The nyckelharpa or “keyed-fiddle” is a traditional Swedish instrument that has been played, in one form or another, for more than 600 years. The modern nyckelharpa has 16 strings and 37 keys. It’s played with a short bow in the right hand while the player uses the left hand to push keys. Holmström studied at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Sweden and then went on to finish his education at the Royal College of Music. He now works with music full time as musician, teacher, project manager for the record company "Dimma Sweden."
Tomas “Limpan” Lindberg is also from Sweden and plays guitars, mandola and Swedish bouzouki. He has toured with many different groups and worked in musical theater as a performer and arranger. Together Holmström and Lindberg are the Swedish folk band Storis Limpan. The title of the band refers to the men’s nicknames of “Big Boy” and “Loaf.”
Storis Limpan recently released second first album, Patina, and have toured Northern Europe, Canada and most recently Tanzania. Holmström is in demand as a nyckelharpa teacher and leads workshops around the world, including in Canada and Brazil. While the primary focus of the band is traditional and modern folk music, Holmström and Lindberg also has toured with the Swedish heavy metal rock band Hammerfall.
2018 Festival goers will enjoy the rich traditional and modern melodies presented on a classic Swedish instrument by a virtuoso with guitar bringing out the rhythms and harmonies. This duo are experts in stage presence and their performance will entertain all. Many of the tunes will be polskas and a dance floor is available for dancing. Storis Limpan will perform all three days of the 2018 festival and speak once about instruments and music.
Scandinavians March in Astoria Regatta Parade
Scandinavians were well represented in the 2017 Regatta Parade and won several awards as well. The Finlandia Foundation from Portland won the Mayor’s Award for their Viking ship celebrating Finland’s Centennial. The Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Court float with 2017 Queen Megan Schacher and several princesses won the Grand Marshall’s award. The Astoria Scandinavian Heritage group with their flags, signs and marchers promoting the Scandinavian Heritage Park won the Court Award. More information about the park proposal is online at www.FromScandinaviaToAstoria.org. The proposal needs final approval from the City of Astoria Council and Mayor so the group can move forward with fundraising to build and maintain the park in perpetuity.