The lodge convened for our annual Midsommar celebration on Sunday, June 25, 2023 at the Latvian Community Center. It was a hot and muggy day with a threat of storms, but everyone was in high spirits, and we had around 100 people in attendance, which is 25-30 more people than the last two years. Woohoo!
This year, the Midsommar Committee (Hannah Lindgren, Marissa Childs, Judy McBride and Marissa Childs) decided to introduce some yard games to the event. We had two traditional Swedish games available - Kubb and Stövelkastning - as well as ladder ball.
We started off the program with introductions by Vice-Chairman Paul Halverson and Cultural Leader Hannah Lindgren, who introduced John Bevelhimer. John spoke about the lodge's history and the significance of 2023 being the lodge's 110th year! One of the first few events put on after SVEA 253 was founded was Midsommar, so everything came full circle.
Everyone then enjoyed a delicious Swedish summer smörgasbård with lots of sides contributed by attendees as well as meatballs, lingonberries, knäckebröd and herring provided by the lodge. We had so many people attend this year, we ran out of meatballs and even ran out of forks!
As everyone finished eating, storm clouds were brewing and there was a threat of lightning and hail, so we made the decision to move everyone indoors for music, singing and dessert. Dessert included a delicious locally-made cake that spelled out "1-1-0" for our 110th Anniversary! As well as wonderful contributions from attendees. Skandilocity entertained the crowd with beautiful music, and Annette Johansson, Scott Clarkson, Ingrid Childs, Eija Vesterqvist and Robert Turnquist led us in some group singing.
Unfortunately, it did start to rain significantly and even hail! So we decided to move the rest of the festivities indoors. Jon Strand, Jeff Anderson, Mika Vesterqvist and Matthew Childs paraded the maypole into the Latvian Community Center and we just barely had enough space to put it up! John Seest and Dans Norden then led us in some group dances.
By this time, the weather had cleared up, so we moved back outside for some final group photos (for the website and new brochures!) before the kids had a chance to smash the strawberry piñata filled with delicious candies.
Thank you to everyone who came out to Midsommar this year, and to those who helped plan and implement the event! Special thanks to Ulla Williams, Brenda Myers, the Midsommar Committee and all of the other unsung heroes who helped us clean up.