Every year the Chicago area Scandinavian community gathers at Vasa Park in South Elgin, Illinois. The event brings together organizations from the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic communities to exchange cultural news, share artistic expressions and sing national songs. This years was the 30th anniversary of the event and one of the biggest I can remember. It is such a treat to have so many people with similar interests in the Scandinavian community gathering together for this all day event. The day opened with a flag ceremony and the signing of the National Anthems of each of the Scandinavian countries.
Several vendors from all over the Midwest and even from the East Coast displayed items for sale. Historical organizations from the Swedish and Norwegian community as well as North Park College had booths to display information about their activities. Some of my favorite booths include the Danish Bakery in Darien (I love the cardamom cake they bake), the Sons of Norway lodge booths and the hand made textiles booths. And of course we can’t forget about the Viking encampment put on by a group called Norsa.
Some of my friends at the Nordic Nook said sales were good, I know the number of vendors was up this year from prior years. We saw all kinds of t-shirts, doll bunads, rosemaled items, and lots of Nordic inspired things that you could use as gifts or in your own home. Food was a big item also. I enjoyed having a pølse wrapped in a piece of lefse as well as herring and a “sloppy uff-da”. A couple of us enjoyed a little “water of life” to help with our digestion. Throughout the day various groups entertained us from the park stage, including the Leikarringen “Heimhug” dancers.
This was a great event and if you missed it this year keep an eye out for announcements for next years event.