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updated: 6/18/2017 5:10 PM

Scandinavian heritage celebrated at Swedish Day in Geneva

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  • As is tradition, visitors danced around the Maypole on Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.

      As is tradition, visitors danced around the Maypole on Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Sisters Kenna and Katya Pospisil of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, dance around the Maypole Sunday during the annual Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.

      Sisters Kenna and Katya Pospisil of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, dance around the Maypole Sunday during the annual Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The Maypole is raised Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.

      The Maypole is raised Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Andrew Haroldson of Elmhurst plays and wins the ring toss Sunday during the Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.

      Andrew Haroldson of Elmhurst plays and wins the ring toss Sunday during the Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Ken Nordan speaks about the viking ship Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.

      Ken Nordan speaks about the viking ship Sunday during the 107th Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park in Geneva.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

For more than a century, Chicago-area families of Scandinavian descent have traveled to Geneva every mid-June to celebrate their shared heritage.

They were back Sunday for the 107th year of the Swedish Day Midsummer Festival at Good Templar Park.

"In the beginning, many Scandinavians who lived in the Chicago area came to Good Templar Park to enjoy the beautiful surroundings," said Craig Hanson, Swedish Day president. "The men would spend weekends here; their families would stay for the entire summer."

A central part of the one-day celebration is the raising of the Maypole decorated with colorful flowers and ribbons. After the raising, all were invited to dance around the pole to traditional Swedish music.

The festival included traditional Swedish food, such as Swedish meatballs, fried herring, Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and other delicacies.

Longtime festivalgoer Andrew Haroldson of Elmhurst showed off his skills at the ring toss booth, winning several times.

"It is a really great time and a tribute to the legacy of Geneva's Swedish community," Haroldson said of the 107-year-old festival.

Visitors to the festival could also view and tour the Viking Ship houses at Good Templar Park and see some of historical the cottages on the property.

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