Sponsored by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
July 21, 22, 23, 2017
Gerry Rodeo Grounds, Gerry NY

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

Special Events

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 in 2016.
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 5 Wife Carrying photo 6
This event will occur only on Saturday July 22 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

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.

Fenton History Center
to Provide Genealogy Research
at the Scandinavian Folk Festival

Fenton History Center Swedish genealogy resources are available for use by researchers at the Fenton History Center (FHC) in Jamestown, NY. Visit with Karen Livsey from the Fenton History Center. She will offer her expertise to assist you with locating your ancestors. Visitors are encouraged to bring the information that they have such as names, birth dates, death dates and age at death, year of immigration, sibling's names, parent's names, place of residence in Sweden and in the United States and any other tidbits of information that may help identify the correct "John Johnson" in Sweden. The Center does have access to Genline, an online subscription service which provides the digitized Swedish Church records.

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 in the Child and Family tent.The tournament will occur in the Child and Family tent and only on Saturday beginning at 3:00 PM. When the tournament is not occurring you are welcome to just come and play Kubb with you and your friends.


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.
(He is also conducting a lecture about the Vikings.)

Crafts and Demonstrations

Two tents offer craft workshops, demonstrations and exhibits. Our Scandinavian ancestors brought with them the skills they had learned in their mother country. Unfortunately, many of these skills have become lost over the years. Here you have the opportunity to take workshops in Hardanger embroidery, Swedish weaving, knitting and much more. Watch crafters at work. See samples of traditional handcrafted items. Check the schedule for times.

Crafts and Demonstrations photo 1 Crafts and Demonstrations photo 2 Crafts and Demonstrations photo 3
Festival Overview Performers You Are Here Speakers / Exhibits Vendors Scandinavian Food
Program Lineup Volunteer! Apps-Info Maps & Area Attractions Photo Album Ticket Info

Go Back or JumpTo: Scandinavian Studies Program Home Page