Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival at Oaks Park
A date has been set! The 86th annual Midsummer Festival will be held this year on Saturday, June 14, 2014, from 11am - 8pm.
Join us for a summer solstice celebration for the entire community!
7805 SE Oaks Park Way
Portland, OR 97202
$6 adults / $3 children (6 - 12 years of age) / Family $15 (2 adults, 2 children)
Presented by: Scandinavian Heritage Foundation & League of Swedish Societies
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A big thank you to the generous sponsors of the 85th annual Midsummer Festival in 2013:
Award-winning Danish artists Harald Haugaard and Helene Blum
Swedish Jazz Sensation Catarina New
Danish Comedian & Juggler extraordinaire Henrik Bothe
Dance with Fossegrimen
|Entertainment Schedule||Volunteer Opportunities||Vendor Information|
Midsummer in Scandinavia's northern climate is the biggest coming out celebration of the year and everyone is invited. At Portland's Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, it is a celebration of fertile fields, warmer and longer days with games, dancing, food, Scandinavian crafts and of course the raising of the Maypole.
Scandinavian roots are not required to celebrate at this summer solstice festival. As all people of Nordic descent know, it’s always a fun, family friendly and important day no matter your personal traditions.
Scandinavians in traditional dress will greet hundreds of visitors beginning at 11 a.m.. Food and crafts are available from local Scandinavian clubs and vendors. Two stages of entertainment and a beer garden promise continuous entertainment with live music and dancing, all with a Scandinavian flavor. The Maypole will be raised at 1 p.m. and the Scandinavian of the Year award will be given during that festive event.
The festival concludes with a concert from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Kids Area, a family-friendly space ~ Sponsored by IKEA & The Swedish School in Portland
For the children the highlight of the day is taking part in decorating and raising the maypole. Adults and children alike dance around the pole together and sing traditional songs like “Smaa Grodorna är lustiga att se” (Little Frogs are funny to watch). As is the custom around a few large holidays, the children will make and wear flower wreaths which are worn by both women and children. Long ago it was believed that everything that grew contained special magic powers. This belief lives on in the tradition to collect flowers before going to bed on Midsummer night. Young girls pick seve to nine flowers from different locations in silence. Some even say you have to jump seven fences. Still in silence you go home and put your flowers underneath your pillow. The legend says that you will dream of the man you will marry!
For this 85th annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in metropolitan Portland, the League of Swedish Societies is joined by the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation (SHF), with its large membership representing the five Nordic countries -- Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland.
2013 Special Guests:
Harald HaugaardFiddler, composer and producer Harald Haugaard began playing the violin at age 7. From the very beginning folk music was his biggest inspiration. He was inspired by his grandfather Johannes who was a traditional accordion player, and soon began accompanying the dances of his mother Lene, a local folk dance caller and teacher. The traditional Danish dance music played there became one of Harald’s biggest musical platforms and still today this genre appears prominently in his performances. Harald is recognized by music critics for his ability to combine playfulness with majestic beauty, enthusiasm with grace.
Helene BlumIn 2004, Helene Blum was the first singer to ever graduate from The Carl Nielsen Academy of Music's (aka Det Fynske Musikkonservatorium) folk music department. As one of the finest interpreters of Danish folk song, Helene Blum has in the last year toured intensely, primarily with hers and Harald Haugaard's ensemble. They have visited everywhere from big festivals in the US and Canada to beautiful chamber music halls in Tokyo and Vienna to clubs and churches in Denmark and the rest of Europe. Her calendar this year alone has totaled over 100 concert performances.
Catarina NewExperience the soothing, charismatic rhythm of Catarina New, Swedish jazz artist and Portland Oregon’s newest saxophone and vocal sensation. Her fresh, inspired music soothes the senses while it feeds the soul. More than just another jazz musician, Catarina's transcendent sound takes her listeners on a personal musical journey that lives on long after the show ends.
Henrik BotheHe walks on ladders, spins ropes, juggles without using his hands, manipulates fancy hats, rides a super high unicycle and escapes from straightjackets. Danish born Henrik Bothe performs his hilarious and clean physical comedy – entertainment that appeals to all ages.
Full list of performers:
Set-up & Take-down: Saturday morning, June 15 & Saturday evening (take-down begins at 8 pm)
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is an important cultural event for the entire Portland community regardless of heritage. It is one of the many ways SHF and the League of Swedish Societies, along with the regional Scandinavian community, celebrate, demonstrate and preserve their Nordic heritage.