Swedish folk dancing, a wishing tree, giant chess and an outdoor Viking lawn game were some of the many activities Saturday at the Midsummer’s Festival in Lindsborg.
Created as a celebration of summer solstice and fertility, the event celebrates Swedish culture and hopes for a bountiful fall harvest.
“Not only is this a big event in Sweden, it is a big event for the city of Lindsborg,” said Tricia Clark of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We honor our Swedish customs and celebrate life in Lindsborg.”
The 42nd annual festival offered attendants a variety of Swedish foods including 10,000 “Vikings on a Stick” — a concoction of Swedish meatballs and deep fat fried flatbread — egg, coffee, Swedish pancakes, and crayfish, a traditional Swedish delicacy.
Swensson Park hosted the second annual Kubb tournament. A combination of bowling and horseshoes, Kubb is a lawn game where wooden batons are used to knock over wooden blocks. The object of the game is to knock over kubbs on the opposing side and then knock over the “king” before the opponent does.
Corey Peterson, Kubb tournament director and owner of Hemslöjd, said the game was recently made popular in the Midwest due to the efforts of a man from Wisconsin with deep roots in the Swedish culture. There are now more than 100 teams in 10 states.
When Peterson realized the ability that Kubb had of bringing together people of all ages, he knew he had to bring the game to Lindsborg in order to introduce the next generation to this rediscovered Swedish tradition.
Not only did the tournament bring in teams locally, three teams from Iowa and Illinois also participated.
“When the word got around to try Kubb, I thought it was goofy, but I now know that it is a fun game,” said TC Andrewson, a Lindsborg resident. “We have even introduced it to all of our friends and family.
We have our own set at home thanks to a gift from our coffee group.”
Legally blind in one eye, Andrewson said he is still able to hit the kubbs.
“It is a blast,” he said. “This game brings people together — especially when you are playing with a fun and friendly team.”
Andrewson’s wife, Angel, also was at the event.
“Having fun is the name of the game — winning is just extra,” she said.
Concluding the long day of activities, 10 folk dancers raised the majstång in Heritage Square. Decorated with garland and flowers, the majstång, or popularly known maypole, was raised using only physical strength, wooden paddles and rope. Folk singers and Swedish fiddlers played while the community joined in dancing.