In Sweden, Midsommar Dag is second only to Christmas as the biggest holiday of the year. Midsommar Dag (Midsummer Day), is an annual celebration of the summer solstice that includes feasting, dancing and general revelry.
Since 1980, the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia has hosted a Midsommar Dag celebration of its own. Gammelgården, which means “old small farm” in Swedish, is an 11-acre property that is home to several historic buildings, including the Gammelkyrkan (old church), the oldest Lutheran church building in the state.
On June 25, the Gammelgården Museum grounds open for the Midsommar Dag festival at 10 a.m. Visitors can tour the buildings and visit the artisan vendors selling Swedish handicrafts. The smörgåsbord, a traditional buffet-style spread of Swedish delicacies, opens at 11 a.m. Food also will be on sale.
“The celebration is intended to be intergenerational,” museum director Lynne Blomstrand Moratzka says. “The dances are simple, and everybody can do them.”
While for most of the attendees this event is a way to connect with a distant time and place, native Swedes who have relocated to the Twin Cities area “love coming out, because they say it feels like home,” she says.
Midsommar Dag Festival
Free; smörgåsbord costs $12 adults, $8 children
10 a.m.–4 p.m. June 25
11 a.m.: Smorgasbord opens
11:30 a.m.: Children’s activities, including flower crowns