ladies

Little ladies in Swedish attire line up for traditional Swedish dancing at Stromsburg’s Swedish Festival.

STROMSBURG—Despite a little Saturday morning rain, Stromsburg put on yet another successful Midsommar Swedish Festival over the weekend – this one being number 67.

“The town was full; there are thousands of people who come to town for it,” said Midsommar Swedish Festival committee leader Sharon Noyd.

Noyd said that it’s difficult to get concrete numbers on attendance, but that foodstuffs are often good indicators.

Midsommar

The 2019 Midsommar Swedish Festival Queen and King (back row, l-r) Jan Randell and Pat Powell hold court behind attendants (l-r) Ryker Berggren, Taytum McLean, Violet Peterson and Sebastian Werth.

“People ran out of food,” she said. “Friday night they had 800 chicken dinners and had to turn people away.” She added that the festival’s Swedish pancake supply was exhausted as well.

Noyd said over 90 “pristine, amazing” vehicles entered the car show. Other events celebrating Stromsburg included a parade, a carnival, the “Midsommer Market,” a kickball tournament and traditional Swedish dancing.

A lot goes on behind the scenes to make big events like the Swedish Festival happen. It took the collaboration of not only festival committees, but individuals and groups throughout the community, Noyd said. “For sure it’s a community service.”

The community service has been working. Over the years the Midsommar Swedish Festival has grown, Noyd said. “It went very well,” she said. “Every year seems to be bigger and bigger.”

The Midsommar Swedish Festival is held the third full weekend of June. While the Swedish Festival has been celebrated since 1953, Stromsburg only became the official “Swede Capital of Nebraska” as of the 1966 Swedish Festival. Then-Governor Frank Morrison made the designation official.

According to the Swedish Festival’s website: “In the 2000 census 30% of the citizens of Stromsburg claimed Swedish ancestry. This was the highest percentage of any city over 1,000 people in the U.S.”

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