We all know about St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, but have you heard of the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival? Did you know that there’s one held every year right in downtown Estes Park? If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about don’t worry, we’ll give you a rundown on this spirited cultural celebration!
So…what exactly is it?
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is an annual tradition that honors the arrival of the summer solstice. It’s a glorious display of Scandinavian heritage—a part of northern Europe that generally includes Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and sometimes Denmark. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the Scandinavian culture through exhibits, entertainment, ceremony, food, activities and more!
What is there to do at the Midsummer Festival?
More like what is there not to do! The celebration runs this year from Friday, June 21st through Sunday, June 23rd, and features festival favorites like a market and craft fair, various performances and reenactments, savory food, and so much more—all specific to Scandinavian tradition.
The festival starts off Friday with a beer garden, food vendors and a preview of the Scandinavian market offered for the weekend. Saturday brings the raising of the Maypole or Midsummer Pole to signal the beginning of the solstice. There’s a Grand March entrance of costumed individuals representing each country with their respective flag and singing their national anthem. All weekend you can check out hand-crafted goods from each country, craft workshops and demonstrations, dance performances, fashion shows, an auto show, and even a Viking encampment! If you want to plan ahead for the shows you don’t want to miss, check out the full entertainment schedule for the weekend this year.
Perhaps most importantly, the Scandinavian fest gives you the opportunity to stuff yourself with unique and delicious foods from each of the Scandinavian countries! Try different types of sausage and Swedish meatballs; sample some Lefsa—a Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes—or potato pancakes to get your carb fix. There are even Scandinavian baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth. Once you’re done, wash it all down with some mead from Redstone Meadery, based right here in Colorado.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind jamboree this summer, the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Estes Park has everything you need! Make sure you don’t miss out on a minute of this unique celebration by booking a room, cabin or suite at Misty Mountain Lodge, so you can stay right near all of the action!