The biggest bi-annual event in the area takes flight on Friday. The streets of downtown Lindsborg will be filled with the sights and sounds of the Swedish festival Svensk Hyllningsfest Friday and Saturday.
The biennial festival created to honor the Swedish settlers of the Smoky Valley features six performance venues with a wide variety of entertainment throughout both days of the festival including the popular Swedish dancers. In addition to entertainment, the festival will host a number of arts & crafts, and food vendors, a traditional Smörgåsbord on Friday evening and the Grand Parade on Saturday.
New this year is an opportunity to see the event from high above. Experience the thrill of a helicopter flight while soaring over the 2017 Svensk Hyllningsfest viewing all the scenery, events and exciting action from a bird’s eye view. Helicopter rides will be available both days of this year’s Hyllningsfest on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rides will take off and land at the Soderstrom Elementary School, near the downtown festival activities. Each flight lasts three to four minutes. There are no age limits and up to three passengers can ride together. There is a fee per passenger.
One of the best loved events at each of the Hyllningsfest is the Smörgåsbord and this year, three settings will be available. The highlight of this event is most certainly the food. Most of the food is prepared from recipes handed down from the early Swedish settlers and prepared by people in the community. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased online, but note that the 6:30 p.m. setting has already sold out.
Another must-see event on Friday is the performance of the Smoky Valley Men’s Choir at 6:30 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church. The choir has its roots in a long tradition of male choruses in Sweden, as well as local choruses dating back to 1895 and again in 1941. The Smoky Valley Men’s Choir has been performing together since 1997 and are a traditional favorite of the festival.
Friday evening will culminate with the popular event, Jazz at the J.O., a concert featuring the Anna Jalkéus group at the J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center in downtown Lindsborg. Jalkéus is an award-winning jazz vocalist, harpist, and composer. Tickets are also required for this event and can be purchased online at the Hyllningsfest website.
Another favorite of many who attend the Hyllningsfest is the Grand Parade scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. on Main Street. This year’s parade will be as grand as ever and led by the Hyllningsfest Royalty, Chester G. and Jeanette Peterson, and parade grand marshals, Bob and Sally Vogel, the interim president of Bethany College in 2015 and his wife. There are always interesting parade entries like the many area marching bands, including the Smoky Valley Middle School Band dressed in Swedish costume, floats, Bethany College Homecoming royalty and much more.
Saturday night brings Spectacle at the Sundstrom, a dinner and entertainment event that features a delicious Swedish meal and musical performances by the Bethany College Choir. The event is held at the J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center and tickets are required. A portion of the ticket sales of this event will go to the choir’s spring tour of Europe.
From the opening ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday to the closing concert and dance Saturday night at 8 p.m. in the Dance Pavilion, there is something for all ages at this year’s festival. The arts & crafts vendors will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the festival at the Sundstrom Conference Center and the food court will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. just off Main Street on Lincoln Street. Each day also features a wide variety of entertainment and activities for all ages.
The best way not to miss a minute of the festival is to go to the Hyllningsfest website at svenskhyllningsfest.org and check out the detailed schedule of events. Buttons that support the festival can also be purchased online prior to the festival for just $5 or at the festival for $10. Every button comes with a detailed program guide for the weekend events. Tickets, for the events that require, them are also available on the website.
This year’s Hyllningsfest theme is “[email protected]” More details about the festival can be found at www.svenskhyllningsfest.org or by contacting the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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