Sweden was a wonderful place to be this summer. It was filled with sun, warmth, beautiful sites, and music festivals.

One festival that my son Thomas and I attended was Orsayran, which was held in Orsa, Dalarna. Musicians of many different genres, including jazz, rock, and folk music, could be heard playing in the streets and moving to different locations inviting other musicians to join in. Thomas and I enjoyed bringing a fiddle and guitar and hopping in with other groups.

The Twin Cities have a multitude of folk musicians representing the Nordic countries. There are several Finnish musicians and folk dancers.

The Norwegians also have fabulous musicians playing fiddles and hardanger and folk dancers including youth and adults.

Youth and adults participate in the Swedish community, dancing and playing fiddles, accordions, and nyckelharpa.

The Danes have an upbeat band that resounds the music of Denmark.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Twin Cities Nordic musicians can be heard for the 11th annual Nordic Music Festival held at the Lions Park in Victoria, 1601 82nd Street.

This is a free event and the public is invited whether they have Nordic roots or not. The festival begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m., just after the “Lutfisk Toss,” between the Norwegians and the Swedes.

There will be food for sale along with a silent auction that helps keep this event free.

The schedule is:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Laulu Aika (Finnish); Polska Chicks (Swedish)
  • 11 a.m.: Twin Cities Nyckelharpa (Swedish); Vasa Junior Folk Dancers (Swedish)
  • 11:40 a.m.: ASI Male Chorus (Swedish); Northstar Nordic Folk Dancers (All)
  • 12:20 p.m.: Finn Hall (Finnish); Paul Dahlin and friends (Swedish)
  • 1 p.m.: Versk Spelman (Swedish); Jenta o Ja (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • 1:45 p.m.: Paul Dahlin and friends (Swedish); Det Norske Folkedanslaget(Norway)
  • 2:25 p.m.: Hardingfele (Norwegian); OK Then (Danish)
  • 3:05 p.m.: ASI Cloudberries (Swedish); Kisarit Folk Dancers (Finnish)
  • 3:45 p.m.: OK Then (Danish); Finn Hall (Finnish)
  • 4:30: Lutfisk Toss

This festival is sponsored by the Sons of Norway Scandia Lodge and the Nordic Heritage Club. This year there were donations by the Sons of Norway Foundation (grant), the Lions Club, and The Twin Cities Nyckelharpa lag.

There will be a set up time on Friday, Sept. 6 at the Lions Park at 5 p.m. Hot dogs and mashed potatoes will be provided.

The Nordic Heritage Club will not meet Sept. 13. The club typically meets, beginning at 7 p.m., the second Friday of the month from September to May at the Victoria Recreation Center, 8475 Kochia Lane.

For more information, contact Carolyn Spargo at carolynspargo@gmail.com.

Carolyn Spargo lives on the border of Chaska and Victoria, and is active in all things Scandinavian, including the Nordic Heritage Club. Her column appears monthly in the newspaper.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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