Svensk Hyllningsfest is just over a year away, and planners are looking for committee members to assist with preparations.

Svensk Hyllningsfest is just over a year away, and planners are looking for committee members to assist with preparations.

Hyllningsfest is a biennial celebration in Lindsborg that celebrates the city's Swedish heritage. Events include live music, traditional dinner at the Smorgasbord, a parade and Swedish heritage classes.

All those events don't plan themselves, so current Hyllningsfest committee members are asking people to step up and help get everything ready. It typically takes between 12 and 14 committee members to put Hyllningsfest together.

"It's a huge festival for us in Lindsborg," said Becky Anderson, program chairperson for Hyllningsfest. "The joke is that the reason we don't have it every year is that it takes a year to recover from the last one."

The next Hyllningsfest will take place Oct. 13 and 14, 2017, with the theme "Swedes @ Play." Committee members have already begun making arrangements for food, entertainment and other aspects of the festival.

There's a lot to take care of, from providing food for the Smorgasbord and lining up arts and crafts demonstrations, to organizing the parade and vendors.

"When we have the parade, we get 10,000 or 12,000 people," Anderson said. "It's a big deal for a little town of 3,500 people."

Anderson handles various programs, including history presentations, entertainment and performers. Her search includes people from across the country and beyond.

"I'm working with groups all across the United States, and also in Sweden," she said. "The Swedish performers really lend a sense of authenticity to our festival."

Anderson said committee members don't have a set meeting schedule now, but will create one as the event draws closer. While committee members don't need to be Lindsborg residents, they should take travel costs into account when deciding whether to join.

"We've had people from Salina and McPherson, and we always appreciate their help," Anderson said. "Often it's someone who grew up here and moved out, but they still want to be a part of this."

It used to be that committee members would be required to stay on the committee for three Hyllningsfests — one year to learn, one year to work, and one year to teach newcomers. Anderson said while that requirement has loosened, it's better to have people stay on for more than one Hyllningsfest.

"In today's world, that doesn't work as well, but we ask people to commit to two or three times if they can," she said. "Still, we appreciate any help we can get."

Being on the committee can be time-consuming, especially in the month before and week of the festival.

"You don't do anything else, frankly," Anderson said. "There's not enough hours in the day."

However, Anderson said the time commitment is well worth it in bringing the community together.

"It's very fun to work in the community. I've met so many new people, and it's so much fun," she said. "You get to do something good for the town, and building the community is important to me. It really does take the whole town to do this."

For more information contact John Hawk at jhawk@maswu.org, or Eric Lundstrom at eric.lundstrom@gmail.com.