Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things to love about Midsommarfest 2012: Celebrating our Swedishness

Today we're talking about celebrating the reason Midsommarfest has such a funny spelling: Andersonville's Swedish heritage.

In Sweden, Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen (Midsommer's Eve and Midsummer's Day-usually celebrated on the Friday and Saturday between June 19 and June 26), is one of the most important holidays of the year. It celebrates the summer solstice with a maypole dance, traditional music, and (of course) lots of drinking (visit Wikipedia to learn more about how Swedes celebrate this holiday). 

To honor Andersonville's Swedish heritage (read more about it here), we keep the original Swedish spelling of Midsommarfest and feature Swedish performers on one of our stages to give you a feel for what a Swedish Midsommarfest is like.

We even kick things off with a traditional maypole dance that you can participate in!
Swedish Stage (Clark & Foster)
Sponsored by the Swedish American Museum 
11:45 AM   Traditional Maypole Dance
12:40 PM   Merula Swedish Choir
1:05 PM     Chicago Spelmanslag
1:25 PM     Nordic Folkdancers

12:00 PM   Nordland Band

Andersonville's cultural institution, the Swedish American Museum, is also open during Midsommarfest (11am-4pm Saturday and Sunday) and offering FREE admission the whole weekend! Check out their permanent exhibit about Swedish immigration to Chicago. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Brunk Children's Museum of Immigration, located on the third floor, which features interactive, hands-on exhibits where they can dress up and experience immigration firsthand.

The Swedish American Museum will also have a tent outside of the museum (near Clark and Foster) with FREE children's crafts (make your own paper Midsommar crown!) as well as Swedish goods on sale from the Museum's gift shop. Swedish food purveyors, and former neighborhood favorites, Wikstrom's Delicatessen will also be in the tent selling delicious Swedish imports.

With all of these activities going on at Midsommarfest, we can all be Swedish for the weekend!

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