New Sweden readies for Midsommar Fest

NEW SWEDEN, Maine — The annual Midsommar Festival in New Sweden, slated Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24,  will feature special hometown talent by way of Montreal.

Aliza Thibodeau, who grew up in New Sweden and was once a little folk dancer, will return to her hometown from Montreal, where she now lives, and perform with her partner, Kit Soden.

“This twosome, known as ‘October Gold,’ perform in different parts of the world,” said festival co-chair, Brenda Jepson, “so we are very fortunate to have them perform for us over the Midsommar Weekend in New Sweden.”

This special music, much of which is Swedish, will combine with other new events such as “Handicrafts From Yesteryear,” to be displayed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Covenant Church, as well as a film showing of “The Coming of the Swedes” at the New Sweden Baptist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“We never quite know what the weather will do, so we try to have many indoor activities planned in case the weather does not cooperate,” said Jepson. “Right now it is looking quite good.”

Other Saturday events include a quilt show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Covenant Church, as well as a sale of Swedish culinary treats, a Swedish smorgasbord at the G.A. Lutheran Church from 4 to 6 p.m., and a community social at 7 p.m. at the former New Sweden School.

“Midsommar rivals Christmas in the Swedish Calendar,” said Jepson. “After all the cold months of winter, we are ready to celebrate the warmth of summer and the bright evenings.”

Other traditional activities will include a dinner dance at the Stockholm Legion Hall, where diners will enjoy eating Swedish meatballs while listening to the local Swedish Meatball Band, to children dancing around the Midsommar Pole.

For a listing of all events, see the New Sweden Historical Society Facebook page.

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