Sponsored by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
July 20, 21, 22, 2018
Jamestown Community College, Jamestown NY

Festival Overview Performers You Are Here Lectures Vendors Scandinavian Food
Program Lineup Volunteer! Exhibits Maps & Area Attractions Photo Album Ticket Info

Special Events

Singlad Boll Workshop

Bollar photo 1 Bollar photo 2

Annika Nohlberg Jildenmyr from Sweden will be joining the Festival on Saturday July 21 from 2 PM to 4:30 PM to lead a unique workshop about making a traditional "singlad boll." Annika has a passion for textile handcrafts of almost every kind. A singlad boll is a kind of embroidered ball that children made by themselves for a toy about 100 years ago, and more. It does not require much experience to make a singlad boll, but it makes it easier for you if you know a little about embroidery sewing with blanket stitches to cover the "inner ball." Annika indicates that it is not that difficult to learn. For anyone with some experience it may take a little more than 2 hours to make one ball. Unfinished balls can be completed as a home project. This workshop is free to those who attend the Festival. All materials will be provided. If interested, sign ups would be helpful so please call Don Sandy at 716-665-0883 to reserve a seat in the workshop.

Annika is visiting Jamestown in search of her family roots. Her great grandfather, Axel Verner Nohlberg, emigrated to America in 1909 and ended up in Jamestown where his four brothers already lived. Axel went back to Sweden a few years later, but the two oldest brothers stayed in Jamestown for the rest of their lives.

Swedish Folk Dance Mass

Traditional swedish folk music Folk dance mass

A Swedish Folk Dance Worship Service will be held on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM. Participants will include The Rev. Alan Anderson officiating, Svenska Spelmän and guests as musicians, the Thule Adult Folk Dance Team and a choir from the community under direction of Charles Johnson. This is a Holy communion service that includes folk dance rhythms such as the schottische, hambo, polka and waltz. This will be the fifth time the Thule Dance team has been part of this service in the past 20 years. All are invited to take part in the various parts of the service.

Per Harling
The service was written by the Rev. Per Harling, a Lutheran priest (pastor) in Sweden. Under his supervision, an English version of the church service was translated and premiered at Chautauqua Institution. He was present for this premier service. Pastor Harling is internationally known church musician. He has been involved in several worship and song projects with the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the Conference of European Churches and the United Methodist Church.

There will not be a gate fee to enter the Festival after 2:30 PM on Sunday and therefore no cost to attend this worship service. The offering received during the service will be donated 100% to YCAN (City Mission).

Click here to see a video sample of a Swedish folk mass dance.

Viking Ship

Viking ship photo 1 Viking ship photo 2

The Viking ship "Norseman" will be sailing on Chautauqua Lake, weather permitting, on Friday morning July 20 and on display at the 2018 Scandinavian Folk Festival. This ship is 40 ft. long and is a replica of a Gokstad Viking ship. Viking ships ranged from 20 ft to 120 ft. The ship will be accompanied by a Viking crew of seven people. Festival visitors will be able to board the ship as well as ask questions about Vikings. This sail is 17' x 17.5' and is red & white vertically striped with a stylized raven painted on it. The "Norseman" is a member of the organization Tall Ships America.

The ship will sail from Long Point State Park about 9:30 AM. There will be about three stops with the sailing and when arranged they will be announced.

The Norseman ship is operated by the Leif Ericson Viking Ship, Inc. located in the Philadelphia, PA area. The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the study, education and promotion of the fact that Leif Ericson was the first European to set foot upon and explore the North American Continent and of Vikings in general, their times and travels throughout the world.

We thank the Karl Peterson Field of Interest Fund of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for their support to bring the ship to Jamestown.

Viking Village

Viking village Viking village

The Viking Village will have around twenty participants and be open throughout festival hours. Beside the Viking Ship, all day there will be periodic demonstrations of leather working, cord making, embroidery, food prep and cooking. wire weaving, chainmail, and as always, ax throwing! This is a working Viking Village with participants spending the night in tents.

Cooking Contest

This year's cooking contest is rather open. It is simply cook an item of your choice that includes cardamom. Donna Johnson is the coordinator for the cooking contest this year. She will be in the Hamilton Collegiate Center on Saturday July 21 between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM to submit your entries. Judging will begin at 5 PM with winners announced shortly after. Along with your contact information at registration you must submit a copy of your recipe. Recipes will not be shared publicly without your consent. Good Luck. First prize is $50 and second prize is $25.

Child and Family Tent

The Child and Family Tent has a special focus on children and family activities. There are many activities that are available all the time and some special events that are scheduled.

On Friday, July 20
4:00 PMCinnamon Figure
6:15 PMStory Time

On Saturday, July 21
10:00 AMMidsummer Head Wreaths (1 fee)
2:00 PMStamp a Scandinavian Design on a T-shirt ($1 fee)
3:30 PMStory Time
4:00 PMCinnamon Figure
5:30 PMStory Time
6:00 PMYarn Dolls

On Sunday, July 22
12:00 NoonStamp a Scandinavian Design on a T-shirt ($1 fee)
1:00 PMStory Time
2:00 PMYarn Dolls

Activities at any time include the Dala Horse bounce corral, petting zoo, legos, coloring, rubber band braclets, stone painting, pierced paper ornament, and much more. This tent is open on Friday from 1 PM to 8 PM, Saturday 12 Noon to 8 PM, and Sunday 10 AM to 3 PM.

Finnish Wife Carrying Contest
Prize: wife's weight in beer

The Wife Carrying Contest, based on Finnish traditions, will return this year. It was quite popular with the audience for the past two years.
Husband-and-wife teams will race with the husband carrying the wife through an obstacle course featuring hurdles such as bales of hay or logs, tires and of course some type of a water hazard. Competing couples do not have to be married, though they must be comprised of a man and a woman and both must be at least 21 years old to enter. How the wife is carried is the competitors' choice, though most use the "Estonian carry" where the female participant holds the male around the waist and tightens her legs around his neck, thereby freeing his hands.
Wife Carrying photo 1 Wife Carrying photo 2 Wife Carrying photo 3
The Wife Carrying Contest is based on a 19th century Finnish legend "Ronkainen the Robber" who had high qualifications for the men he accepted into his band. To prove their worth, men had to compete through a difficult course with a heavy sack (or woman grabbed from neighboring villages) on their back. The first modern day wife-carrying event was held in Finland in 1991 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. There are now United States as well as world championships held.
Wife Carrying photo 4 Wife Carrying photo 6
This event will occur only on Saturday July 21 at 3:30 PM. The first place prize is winning the wife's weight in cases of beer to be delivered after the Festival. A second place prize of $50 will be awarded as well as a third place prize of $25. Contestants will be required to sign a waiver and the female must wear a helmet which will be provided. One can register at the Festival before the event but advance registration is requested so that we can be prepared for the number of contestants. To register, call Don Sandy at 716-665-0883. This event is co-sponsored by our local Arthur R Gren Company. There is no fee to enter the contest other than the regular gate fee.

Traditional Midsummer Celebration
Midsummer festival Midsummer festival
Midsummer festival

The traditional Midsummer celebration will begin at 11:00 AM on Saturday
with the grand parade of the flags of Scandinavia and all of the Festival musicians.
After the pole is raised in the Midsummer court, everyone will have
the opportunity to participate in ring dances around the pole.

Midsummer is a celebration of sunlight and nature.
For Scandinavian people this is especially important
because of the many dark days of winter.
This is an opportunity for today's families to celebrate
as our ancestors have done for generations.

Scandinavian Trivia Contest

A Scandinavian Trivia Contest, with questions primarily related to our Scandinavian heritage, will be held again this year. Teams of up to four people can register. The winning team will receive $100. The contest will be held in the entertainment tent on Saturday July 21, 2018. There is no fee to enter the contest other than the Festival's gate fee. No smart phones allowed.

Passport Adventure


Visit various sites and complete various tasks around the Festival, get your passport stamped and when filled receive a free ticket to submit for one of the prize drawings. Pick up your blank Passport book and instructions at the Information booth.

Kubb Tournament

The Scandinavian Folk Festival is the site of the annual Kubb Tournament. Kubb is an ancient game played by the Vikings.
The rules are simple and fun for all ages.
Beginners luck could lead to a championship.
There will be a junior as well as an adult division. Competition is on a single person playing head to head with another single person. The typical rules of Kubb will be followed with a time limit imposed. The tournament will occur on Saturday July 21, 2018. When the tournament is not occurring you are welcome to just come and play Kubb with you and your friends. Locate the Kubb site on the Festival map.


The Scandinavian Folk Festival provides the opportunity
for musicians from the community to play together with the performers.
Bring your instruments and learn a tune.

Photo Op

Put your face into the picture as a Viking, or Pippi Longstocking, or Nils and his flying goose. Watch the grounds for these photo opportunities. Figures are designed and painted by Milton Franson.

Pygmy Goats in Petting Zoo
Pygmy goats first entered the United States in 1959 from the Swedish National Zoo in Stockholm. Sun-Dance-Kids Farm will be at this year's Festival with a number of pygmy goats, lambs, rabbits, ducks and other animals for observation, petting and feeding.

Swedish Weaving Workshop

Julie Fried will be demonstrating Swedish Weaving (also called Huck Embroidery) on Friday, July 20 from 2 PM to 6 PM and on Saturday July 21 from 2:00 PM to 6 PM. In addition, workshops for beginners will be available on Friday at 5 PM and on Saturday at 2:30 PM. A workshop for Advanced Swedish Weaving will be held on Saturday, July 21 at 3:00 PM.

Swedish weaving example Swedish weaving example
Traditional Viking Wrestling Demonstration
Viking wrestling

Come out and experience authentic Viking Culture and heritage this Saturday, July 22nd at the 17th annual Scandinavian Folk festival at Jamestown Community College. The United States Traditional Society in partnership with the IATWS, the main stakeholder of UNESCO Traditional Sports and Games will be preforming a traditional Viking wrestling demonstration and exhibition for kids, teens and adults. Come out and learn what your ancestors did for thousands of years and reconnect with your historical roots. The demonstration is by A. Scott Wendel, President of the United States Traditional Wrestling Society.

Viking wrestling or Glima as its called in Old Norse meaning Flash is practiced today in an unbroken line that dates back as early as the 6th century and possibly earlier. It was practiced as a form of physical, mental and spiritual training. Glima was a competition sport as well as a fun, leisurely activity for women, children, adult warriors and those of advancing years. Whenever people of the North gather together for a festival, celebration, town meeting or any social event, wrestling was the main form of entertainment. Viking wrestling was so important to society that the most popular god Thor, was the god of wrestling.

In fact, the first written record of Viking wrestling was a 9th century Norse poem involving Thor wrestling a magical foe.

To honor our ancestors and preserve our identity, there will be Viking wrestling performed by authentic modern day Vikings. So stop by and experience the ancient Scandinavian traditional culture and even participate in a friendly exhibition match if you feel the call of the gods.

"Wake up early and fight for what you want before others take it" Havamal -Norse book of wisdom verse 58

Festival Overview Performers You Are Here Lectures Vendors Scandinavian Food
Program Lineup Volunteer! Exhibits Maps & Area Attractions Photo Album Ticket Info

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