You Don’t Have to be a Swede to Love Midsommar Fest this Saturday
It's come to my attention that we have at least a handful of Swedes in Rockford. Okay, okay, maybe a bit more than a handful (especially if you're looking at ancestry). Chances are, you'll get a chance to meet many of them on Saturday at the Erlander Home Museum for Midsommar Fest.
Here in Rockford, we’ve got SwedishAmerican Hospital (including the SwedishAmerican Heritage Center) . We also have the Stockholm Inn, the Erlander Home Museum, The Rockford Swedish Historical Society, the Midsommar Festival, the Svea Sonner Singing Society, and more people whose last name ends with the letters s-o-n than most any other place in the world outside of Sweden. It might even be a law that you cannot live in Rockford unless you know at least six people named Carlson or Johnson, although I’ll have to check that fact out.
A great place to trace those Swedish roots and immerse yourself in Swedish culture is Midsommar Fest, on the grounds of the Erlander Home Museum, 404 South 3rd Street, in Rockford. The event, which is actually held all over the world, wherever Swedes may be, celebrates the arrival of the summer solstice.
Midsommar Fest runs this Saturday (June 18th) from 9am-10pm, rain or shine. Admission is free, with a $10 charge for the evening's concert line-up. Also, the Erlander Home Museum will be open for tours during the Midsommar Fest.
More details from our friends at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB):
Visitors will enjoy the magic of the longest day of the year by stepping into a quaint Nordic village where they will be able to participate in dancing around the Maypole at noon with the Nordic Dancers of Chicago, enjoy Swedish folk music by Chicago Spelmanslag and Svea Sonar/Harmony Men's Chorus throughout the day. They will also be able to shop artisan goods and beautiful antique copper pieces at the “Marknad”, discover antiques and fine collectables at “Mormor’s Attic” and once again the Swedish American museum of Chicago will offer items from their store. Swedish food will be available at the Stockholm Inn pavilion as well as SHS booth and many others. The festival will also feature a children's area with crafts, face painting, story-telling and games, including the Viking yard game, KUBB. Pippi Longstocking will greet guests throughout the day, and roaming Vikings will be adding to the flavor of Midsommarafton.
“Midsommar Natt”, the evening program, will feature live music performed by Rockford’s very own famous Swede, Miles Nielsen and his band, The Rusted Hearts! Emily Hurd, Kelly Steward, Berg Holmgren and DJ Dain will also be performing.
Take a look at a previous Midsommar Fest (and, if you can sing along with the song playing during the video, you're probably already going to be there this year):