Scandinavian Folk Festival
July 15, 2023
from 10 AM to 8 PM
July 16, 2023
from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Festival Overview
  • Festival Schedule
  • Food
  • Performers
  • Vendors
  • Lectures
  • Volunteering
  • Special Events

2023 Scandinavian Folk Festival
Northwest Arena - Downtown Jamestown, NY
July 15 & 16th, 2023

Please check our performers section for more updates.
10am - 8PM
10am - 4PM

  • Saturday
  • $5
  • All Day
  • July 15th
  • Sunday
  • $5
  • All Day
  • July 16th
*Free Admission for children up to the age of 16.



Festival Coordinator/Information
Don Sandy: 716-665-0883
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Gwen Funcell: 716-338-7266
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  Lecture Coordinator  John Everett Jones:
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Gift Shop/Consignments
Sandra Sandy: 716-665-9506
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Festival Highlights:

Midsummer Celebration
Ice Bumper Cars
Downtown Jamestown
Mostly Inside

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Thank you for the Financial Support
This project is made possible with financial donations from many individuals and local organizations/businesses.  In particular we recognize the support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Services Inc.


Festival Food Court

The Scandinavian Folk Festival is presenting an array of Scandinavian Foods in one location in the Scandinavian Food Court.


Scandinavian food will be served by  3Cs catering offering a variety of traditional dishes.  The Beer/Wine wagon and the Kaffe Stuga will also return. This will be a great place to gather with family and friends.


3Cs Food Truck

3Cs catering service will provide the traditional food this year. 

The menu includes a variety plate, Swedish meatballs, rice pudding, rotmos, yellow pea soup, brown beans and some non Swedish favorites.

Beer & Wine

Enjoy Danish Carlsberg Beer or some local favorites or a selection of wines.

Kaffe Stuga

Take a fika (coffee break) with a Scandinavian "goodie or have a lingonberry drink, soda or water.

Norm’s Korv Burgers

The American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation will be serving Norm's world famous korvburgers. Norm Owen created the korvburger for the Scandinavian Folk Festival. A korv meat patty is served on a rye bun with a choice of lingonberries or other condiments.



Returning this Year

SmörgåsBandet is a Smörgåsbord of music, with deep Scandinavian roots that they celebrate through their instruments and a lifetime of experiences. Together as a band for over 20 years, their Nordic knowledge and expertise results in a broad spectrum of genres including folk music, gammaldans, pop, evergreens, country and rock ‘n roll. They love to interact with the audience, so get ready to sing and dance along. Jeanne Eriksson, MC, is the daughter of the late maestro Walter Eriksson and plays accordion, keyboard and teaches dance. Her son is the percussionist and Social media PR expert, and Wayne Söderlund is their modern day maestro making sounds with his electronic Roland accordion that sets them far apart from your “farfar’s” gammaldans orchestra. Wayne’s son Johnny Söderlund plays guitar, banjo & drums on special occasions. They’ve performed overseas in Sweden and Åland, and have appeared at countless festivals, conventions, concert halls, restaurants and celebrations from New York to California and numerous States in between. They love what they do and do what they love and their enthusiasm is contagious. Welcome back to Jamestown, SmörgåsBandet!


Jeanne will be leading the community midsummer ring dances outside (weather permitting) on Lafayette Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets at 11 AM on Saturday July 15, 2023. Besides their performances on the main stage inside the Northwest Arena, they will also lead a "Learn a Tune" workshop for the Festival musicians as well as anybody from the community. Bring your instrument and join in. Check the schedules when posted for time and place.

SFF23 Smorgasbandet
Svenska Spelmän

Our own local Swedish Band, Svenska Spelmän, has performed at all 19 Scandinavian Folk Festivals. All members are from Chautauqua County. Kathy Petersen plays the fiddle and nyckelharppa, Cheryl Ritch performs on the fiddle, Thomas Gestwicki on the guitar/banjo and Donald Sandy on the accordion. They focus on the traditional music of Scandinavia such as the waltz, polka, schottis, ganglot, and hambo. Their selections provide music both for enjoyable listening as well as dancing. This band is also the music for the Thule Adult and Children's Folk Dance Teams. They have performed in the Swedish embassy in Washington, DC and for the King and Queen of Sweden.

Thule Lodge Adult and Children's Folk Dance Teams

The local Thule Lodge Vasa Order of America has two Swedish Folk Dance Teams - one with adults and one with children. They have been part of our community for a number of generations.


The Adult Folk Dance Team toured Sweden in 2018 and worked with nine different folk dance teams to finesse their dancing skills. The Children's Folk Dance Team danced with Sweden's Queen Sylvia when she last visited Jamestown. The mission of both teams is to preserve the heritage of our Scandinavian Culture.


Both teams are always seeking new members so if interested let one of the dancers know. The Children's Team is under the direction of Mary-AnnEva Ingrao and the instructor for the Adult team is Gerd Brigotta. Both teams perform to the music of Svenska Spelmän.

dembones 2

Seven or more trombone players from the Jamestown/Warren area will perform including selections from Scandinavian composers including ABBA.

Simple Gifts

Two women plus twelve instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage at the Scandinavian Folk Festival on July 15 and 16, 2023. This award-winning band performs on an impressive array of instruments, including two violins, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, recorders, banjo, and guitar plus some more unusual instruments like the bowed psaltery, baritone fiddle, shruti box, banjolin, guitjo, and doumbek.


Simple Gifts presents a wide variety of ethnic folk music besides Swedish, Norwegian and Danish tunes. including everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American. Throughout their performances, they put their own distinctive stamp on traditional tunes, blending styles from diverse cultures with their American roots. According to the Celtic Classic Festival in Bethlehem, PA, "few musicians can match the warmly personal stage presence Simple Gifts possesses." It is obvious that these women love the music they play, and they know how to share their talents, their enthusiasm, and their sense of humor with the audience.


Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon have performed as Simple Gifts since 1995 and are from central Pennsylvania. The group was founded by Littleton in 1989 and has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including appearances at the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum of Art, National Governors' Convention, Longwood Gardens, National Theater, Whitaker Center, Hershey Theatre, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ontario Center for Performing Arts, Scandinavian Folk Festival and dozens of colleges and universities throughout the region. Simple Gifts has opened for Natalie MacMaster, Tom Paxton, John McCutcheon, Robin and Linda Williams, Jay Unger and Molly Mason, and Boys of the Lough.


Simple Gifts has recorded six albums. Their newest, "Crossing Borders: Music of Many Lands," received a national award from Indie Acoustic. Their previous album, "Time and Again," won a bronze star (third place) in the Crossroads Music Awards. Their recordings include traditional music from Romania, Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, France, Sweden, Denmark, and America, plus original compositions by each group member.
Besides their performances on the main stage, the group will lead a “Learn a Tune” workshop as well as a “How to Play the Spoons” workshop. In addition, they will present a lecture/demonstration of their instruments.

SFF23 Simple GiftsSFF23 Simple Gifts 2

2023 Vendors

If you are interested in become a vendor with the Scandinavian Festival,
you can find the vendor application here.


It's been a while, but returning  this year is Marty Tuisk with Nordic Dreams from Baltimore, MD.  He will have a variety of Scandinavian merchandise and jewelry.
Kate Kylander-Svensson with Uniquely Swedish from Lititz, PA, is returning. She will have Scandinavian linens, jewelry, books, gifts, housewares, etc.
Lily Ewing with Whichcraft? has been a regular, and she is returning - all the way from Denver, CO!  She has a very wide variety of merchandise:  hats, socks, embroidered clothes, jackets, blankets, books, candles, tomtes, moose, bags, etc.
European Sheepskins will be returning with natural sheepskin rugs and throws made from European heritage breeds.
 Cara Staviski from High Bridge, New Jersey, will be there again with her many embroidered items and quilts.


2023 Lectures are in the works...


An event of this magnitude does not exist without a large number of volunteers (and three hours gets you into the Festival free for a day!). Before the event begins we need volunteers to help put up advertising signs, and distribute flyers. Other pre-festival volunteers are needed to transport our supplies and set up the site.  During the festivities we need volunteers to help with the inside admission gate and Festival Gift Shop.  We also need people on Sunday evening taking down the Festival.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact:

Don Sandy
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Midsummer Celebration

This year's Festival will include a traditional Swedish Midsummer Saturday, July 15, 2023. After the long dark days and nights of winter, Swedes celebrate the long days of summer with dancing, music, a midsummer pole and seasonal foods such as the first potatoes and strawberries. This holiday is the most popular celebration next to Christmas.  
The Fesival's Midsummer will begin in the Jamestown Public Market near the corner of W. Third and Cherry Streets. Beginning at 10 AM, the 22 foot pole will be decorated with greens and flowers. We encouage the community to bring flowers from their gardens and fields and put them on the Pole.  Perhaps in memory of ancestors.  There will also be an opporunity to make a midsummer head wreath. When the pole is ready, about 11 AM, the Festival Folk Dances in their colorful ethnic regional costumes and the Festival musicians will process the pole along W. Third Street to the Northwest Arena. It will be erected on the corner of Lafayette and W. Third Streets. Ring dances will occur on Lafayette St. between 2nd and 3rd. Instructions will be proviced for each dance.This is the communities opportunity to celebrate midsummer just like our ancesters.  
This Midsummer celebraion is free and completely open to the public. Behold Scandinavia!

Genealogy Research

The genealogy research program from Fenton History Center will exhibit at the Festival with their Scandinavian research tools and assist visitors with researching their ancestors.

2022 Scandinavian Festival
Check out the Image Gallery!