Sponsored by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
July 21, 22, 23, 2017
Gerry Rodeo Grounds, Gerry NY

Festival Overview Performers You Are Here Speakers / Exhibits Vendors Scandinavian Food
Program Lineup Volunteer! Apps-Info Maps & Area Attractions Photo Album Ticket Info

Special Events

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.
Husband-and-wife teams will race with the husband carrying the wife through an obstacle course featuring hurdles such as bales of hay or logs, tires and of course some type of a water hazard. Competing couples do not have to be married, though they must be comprised of a man and a woman and both must be at least 21 years old to enter. How the wife is carried is the competitors' choice, though most use the "Estonian carry" where the female participant holds the male around the waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing his hands.
Wife Carrying photo 1 Wife Carrying photo 2 Wife Carrying photo 3
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.
Wife Carrying photo 4 Wife Carrying photo 5 Wife Carrying photo 6
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

Flag Contest
    Fly a Scandinavian flag and have a chance to win $25.
  1. This event occurs daily for two weeks from July 5 to July 18, 2017.
  2. Register your name, street address and phone number by sending it to Don Sandy, Scandinavian Folk Festival, 430 Crossman Street, Jamestown, NY 14701 or by e-mail to dsandy@netsync.net. If any special information is needed to find your house, please include it. You will be notified that your registration has been received. Registration is open from June 1 to July 14.
  3. Fly a Scandinavian flag that is at least three feet long on the outside of your house. (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Sami.)
  4. A name will be drawn each of the 14 days from those who register.
  5. A visit will be made to your home sometime between Noon and 8 PM. If your flag is flying you win $25 on the spot. If no one is home, a note will be left.
  6. It there is no winner, the prize is added to the next day.
  7. All names drawn will have their registration returned to the pool so there is a chance to win more than once.
  8. One household cannot win more than four times.
  9. Winner's names will be posted in the "Jamestown Post-Journal" on the weather page.
  10. Unfortunately, for practical reasons, the geographical area needs to be limited to within 25 miles of the City of Jamestown. This includes Mayville to Warren, PA. Only one registration permitted per address.

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.

Cooking Contest

Cooking Contest Cookies

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.

Passport Adventure


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.

Kubb Tournament

The Scandinavian Folk Festival is the site of the annual Kubb Tournament. Kubb is an ancient game played by the Vikings.
The rules are simple and fun for all ages.
Beginners luck could lead to a championship.
There will be a junior as well as an adult division. Competition is on a single person playing head to head with another single person. The typical rules of Kubb will be followed with a time limit imposed. The tournament will occur in the Child and Family tent.The tournament will occur in the Child and Family tent and only on Saturday beginning at 3:00 PM. When the tournament is not occurring you are welcome to just come and play Kubb with you and your friends.


The Scandinavian Folk Festival provides the opportunity
for musicians from the community to play together with the performers.
Bring your instruments and learn a tune.

Photo Op

Put your face into the picture as a Viking, or Pippi Longstocking, or Nils and his flying goose. Watch the grounds for these photo opportunities. Figures are designed and painted by Milton Franson.
(He is also conducting a lecture about 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

Crafts and Demonstrations photo 1 Crafts and Demonstrations photo 2 Crafts and Demonstrations photo 3

Viking girl

Visit the group of Vikings who are demonstrating axe throwing, spinning, basket making, wire working and much more.

Festival Overview Performers You Are Here Speakers / Exhibits Vendors Scandinavian Food
Program Lineup Volunteer! Apps-Info Maps & Area Attractions Photo Album Ticket Info

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