Scandinavians have a long tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice with bonfires or raising of the Maypole (Majstång). Here in Portland that tradition has been celebrated for 83 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.
However, 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 with century old traditions.
The festival runs from 11am until 9pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for kids (6-12), and $15 for families (2 adults, 2 kids). Two stages feature live music (acts include Maiastra, whose performance we enjoyed last weekend in Astoria), vendors will be offering their wares, there will be dancing (6pm-9pm), and there’s a beer garden (open noon until 8pm)! The Maypole will be raised at 1pm. Visit the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation website for more information, including full entertainment schedule.