Scandinavians have a long tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice with bonfires or raising of the Maypole (Majstång). Here in Portland that tradition has being celebrated for 84 continuous years at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival.
Midsummer in Scandinavia's northern climate is the biggest coming out celebration of the year and everyone is invited. At Portland's Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, it is a celebration of fertile fields, warmer and longer days with games, dancing, food, Scandinavian crafts and of course the raising of the Maypole.
Scandinavian roots are not required to celebrate at this summer solstice festival. As all people of Nordic descent know, it’s always a fun, family friendly and important day no matter your personal traditions.
Scandinavians in traditional dress will greet hundreds of visitors beginning at 11 a.m.. Food and crafts are available from local Scandinavian clubs and vendors. Two stages of entertainment and a beer garden promise continuous entertainment with live music and dancing, all with a Scandinavian flavor. The Maypole will be raised at 1 p.m. and the Scandinavian of the Year award will be given during that festive event.
The festival concludes with folk dancing, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.