Sponsored by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
Finnish Wife Carrying Contest
Prize: wife's weight in beer
The Wife Carrying Contest, based on Finnish traditions, will return this year. It was quite popular with the audience in 2016.
The Wife Carrying Contest is based on a 19th century Finnish legend "Ronkainen the Robber" who had high qualifications for the men he accepted into his band. To prove their worth, men had to compete through a difficult course with a heavy sack (or woman grabbed from neighboring villages) on their back. The first modern day wife-carrying event was held in Finland in 1991 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. There are now United States as well as world championships held.
This event will occur only on Saturday July 22 at 3:30 PM. The first place prize is winning the wife's weight in cases of beer to be delivered after the Festival. A second place prize of $50 will be awarded as well as a third place prize of $25. Contestants will be required to sign a waiver and the female must wear a helmet which will be provided. One can register at the Festival before the event but advance registration is requested so that we can be prepared for the number of contestants. To register, call Don Sandy at 716-665-0883. This event is co-sponsored by our local Arthur R Gren Company. There is no fee to enter the contest other than the regular gate fee.
Scandinavian Flag Flying
Traditional Midsummer Celebration
The traditional Midsummer celebration will begin at 11:00 AM on Saturday
with the grand parade of the flags of Scandinavia and all of the Festival musicians.
After the pole is raised in the Midsummer court, everyone will have
the opportunity to participate in ring dances around the pole.
Midsummer is a celebration of sunlight and nature.
For Scandinavian people this is especially important
because of the many dark days of winter.
This is an opportunity for today's families to celebrate
as our ancestors have done for generations.
This year the cooking contest will be the Spritz cookie. Traditionally a Christmas cookie, this is our chance to determine who has the best spritz cookie in the area.
Two dozen of your cookies must be submitted at the Festival's Lecture Building on the Gerry Rodeo Grounds between 3 PM and 5 PM on Saturday July 22, 2017. A panel of judges will review the cookies and select the winners based on taste and appearance. Your recipe must also be submitted but will not be shared without consent. Judging will occur at 5 PM with the winners announced at 6 PM. First prize will be $75 and second prize will be $50. After the contest, your cookies will be shared. Do you make the best spritz cookie?
Scandinavian Trivia Contest
New this year is a trivia contest with questions primarily related to our Scandinavian heritage. Teams of up to four people can register. The winning team will receive $100. The contest will be held in the entertainment tent on Saturday July 22, 2017 at 5:30 PM. There is no fee to enter the contest other than the Festival's gate fee. No smart phones allowed.
Visit various sites and complete various tasks around the Festival, get your passport stamped and when filled receive a free ticket to submit for one of the prize drawings. Pick up your blank Passport book and instructions at the Information booth.
The Scandinavian Folk Festival is the site of the annual Kubb Tournament. Kubb is an ancient game played by the Vikings.
Crafts and Demonstrations
Our Scandinavian ancestors brought with them the skills they had learned in their mother country. Unfortunately, many of these skills have become lost over the years. Here you have the opportunity to take workshops in Hardanger embroidery, Swedish weaving, knitting and chip carving. Watch crafters at work. See samples of traditional handcrafted items.
These events will not be available throughout the Festival. They are not regularly scheduled. If there is a particular interest, be sure to review the following schedule for any of the activities.
Swedish Weaving (Huck Embroidery) - Class on Friday from 5 to 6 PM, Saturday 1-2 and 3-4 PM.
Hardanger Embroidery - A demonstration on Friday from 6-7 PM with a class on Saturday from 1-3 PM and a class on Sunday from 1-3 PM.
Chip Carving - Demonstration and instruction on Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM
Scandinavian Knitting - Demonstration and instruction on Saturday from 1 to 6 PM
Spinning - A Demonstration on Sunday 1 to 3 PM
Visit the group of Vikings who are demonstrating axe throwing, spinning, basket making, wire working and much more.
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