Scandinavian Folk Festival
July 19, 20, 21, 2019
Jamestown Community College, Jamestown NY
Friday ~ 1:00pm to 9:30pm
Saturday ~ 10:00am to 1:00pm
Sunday ~ 10:00am to 4:00pm

July 19, 20, 21, 2019

Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY

1:00 PM to 9:30 PM
10:00 am to 9:00 PM
10:00 am to 4:00 PM

2019 Highlights

Swedish Meatballs
Band from New York City Area

Simple Gifts
String instrument duet from Central Pennsylvania

Toronto Swedish Folk Dance Team

Thule Swedish Adult and Children's Folk Dance Teams

The Probables
Rhythm-driven, folk/cana roots rock band
**Concert only Friday July 19**

Viking Mixed Chorus

A Major Series of Lectures
Historical & Educational

A New  Scandinavian Food Court

The "footprint" of the Festival will be much smaller this year.
Located in the Carnahan building and space between this building and the JCC Gymnasium, but will continue to have the features.



Don Sandy: 716-665-0883
Gwen Axelson: 716-665-4737
Mary-AnnEva Ingrao: 716-489-1570
Lecture Coordinator
Dr. Julie Boozer: 814-757-8701
Hemslöjdsbutik / Loppis
Sandra Sandy: 716-665-9506

Visit us on Facebook
Thank you for the Financial Support
This project is made possible with financial donations from many individuals and local organizations/businesses.  In particular we recognize the support of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Tri-County Arts Council.



Swedish Meatballs

Led by Ellen Lindstrom, Swedish Meatballshail from the New York City area and perform regularly in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut region.

They are already scheduled for more than 37 events in 2019 and we are pleased that they have included Jamestown in their tour.

This trio will focus primarily on Swedish gammeldans (waltz, polka, schottis) music while including some American selections in their performance.

They describe themselves as "toe-tapping, foot-stomping, heart-touching eclectic musical band."

The Probables

The local band "The Probables" will perform one concert only on:

Friday July 19, 2019 at 8-9:30 PM.

The Probables are a rhythm-driven, folkcana/roots rock band formed in March of 2016 releasing recordings in 2016 and 2018.

With influences of Americana, Folk, Contemporary, Bluegrass and Rock, The Probables result is a fusion with a unique blend.

The group consists of 5 members, most with Swedish heritage:

Steve Johnson - Lead Singer/Acoustic Guitar
Matt Gronquist - Accordion/Fiddle/Vocals
Adam McKillip - Mandolin/Vocals
Ryan Ecklund - Bass, and Nick Campbell - Drums

Simple Gifts

Two women plus twelve instruments equals one good time when Simple Gifts takes the stage. Drawing on an impressive variety of ethnic folk styles, their program will include a number of Scandinavian musical selections such as the lush sounds of Scandinavian twin fiddling, and original compositions written in a traditional style.

Combining tradition with innovation, Simple Gifts creates some of the finest arrangements in folk music today:  Based in the hills of central Pennsylvania, these women play an amazing array of instruments. Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon switch with ease among fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, guitjo, recorders, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer, baritone fiddle, guitar, and percussion.

Simple Gifts is frequently complimented on their stage presence, which is warm, personal, and accented with humor. They deliver their music with rare intensity and contagious enthusiasm. It’s obvious that Simple Gifts loves the music they play and knows how to share their excitement with the audience.

Svenska Spelmän

Western New York's own Swedish Band, Svenska Spelmän, has performed at all 17  Scandinavian Folk Festivals.   All members are from Chautauqua County.  Kathy Petersen plays the fiddle and nyckelharppa, Cheryl Ritch performs on the fiddle, Thomas Gestwicki on the guitar/banjo and Donald Sandy on the accordion.  They focus on the traditional music of Scandinavia such as the waltz, polka, schottis, ganglot, and hambo.  Their selections provide music both for enjoyable listening as well as dancing.  This band is also the music for the Thule Adult and Children's Folk Dance Teams.  They have performed in the Swedish embassy in Washington, DC and for the King and Queen of Sweden.

Viking Mixed Chorus

The Viking Mixed Chorus from our own Ingjald Lodge - Independent Order of Vikings will perform a concert on Friday evening.  Their selections include Swedish as well as English songs.  

Thule Lodge Adult and Children's Folk Dance Teams

The local Thule Lodge Vasa Order of America has two Swedish Folk Dance Teams - one with adults and one with children.  They have been part of our community for a number of generations.  The Adult Folk Dance Team toured Sweden in 2018 and worked with nine different folk dance teams to finesse their dancing skills.  The Children's Folk Dance Team danced with Sweden's Queen Sylvia when she last visited Jamestown.  The mission of both teams is to preserve the heritage of our Scandinavian Culture.

Both teams are always seeking new members so if interested let one of the dancers know.  The Children's Team is under the direction of Mary-AnnEva Ingrao and the instructor for the Adult team is Gerd Brigotta.  Both teams perform to the music of Svenska Spelmän.  


Toronto Swedish Folk Dance Team

This year's Scandinavian Folk Festival is proud to present the Swedish Folk Dance Team from Toronto, Canada.  They have been to the Festival in the past and are always well received.  We welcome them back after a two year absence.  This dance team is quite skilled and offers a colorful performance.  They will also encourage the audience to join in with their dancing.



Comedian Peter Hofert

Local comedian Peter Hofert will share his versions of the Scandinavian community.

More Coming Soon

Traditional Midsommar Celebration

      After the long dark winter days in Sweden, it is natural to celebrate the long warm light of the days of summer.  Since Sweden is more northerly than continental United States, we do not recognize the contrast of the two seasons as much as the people of Sweden.  Midsummer is the second most celebrated event after Christmas.  In Sweden, they celebrate this tradition on the summer solstice, the longest day of light in the year. 

      We will be celebrating midsummer at the Festival on Saturday July 20 at 11:00 AM.  Beginning at 10 AM one can assist in decorating the midsummer pole with flowers and greenery.  What a great place to insert some flowers from your garden in recognition of your ancestors.  At this time, one can also make a midsummer head wreath in preparation for the grand procession of the pole.  In this procession will be at least 37 folk dancers in their colorful costumes, the flags of Scandinavia, and ten musicians.  When the 18 ft. tall midsummer pole is erected, the community ring dancing will begin.  This is when we all join in the fun, no experience required, instruction provided and enjoy traditional ring dances around the pole just like our immigrant ancestors did back in the 1800s.  Regardless of age or physical status, this is the time and place to celebrate.

Finnish Wife Carrying Contest   

     On Saturday, July 20 at 4:00 PM the Scandinavian Folk Festival will conduct the Finnish wife carrying contest.  One really does not need to be married but it must be a male and female at least 18 year's old.  The object is to be the fastest person carrying one's partner around an obstacle course consisting of some bails of hay, tires and water hazards.  The fastest couple wines the female's weight in beer.  (Weighing can be private.)  The second place team wins $50.  Participants must wear provided helmets.  Even if you are not willing to enter, this event is a hoot to watch.  There is no entrance fee and registration begins at 3:30 PM.

Scandinavian Trivia Contest

     Win $100 for the trivia team with the highest point value of correct answers. 

  • There will be three rounds of questioning with about 6 questions in each round and one tie breaker question.   
  • All questions will relate to Scandinavia.   
  • The contest will be held on Saturday July 20 at 6 PM.   
  • Teams can be up to four people. 
  • No internet connections allowed.   
  • No fees to enter, just organize your team and join the fun. 
  • Nobody gets all the answers correct.
Simply Swedish - An Introduction by Jeffrey Kroon
Scandinavia's unique folk costumes speak to the richness of their culture through their intricate embroidery patterns and vivid color combinations. A few centuries ago, each Scandinavian Parish and Province in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden had their own individual distinctive local costume. Men’s and women’s “folkdrakt” identified where they lived and their social class. Learn how to find out about your own ancestral “folkdrakt” and perhaps even make one to wear to next year's festival.
Viking Drum and Bugle Corps   by Dave “Skip” Axelson
Skip relates stories about his participation in the Viking Drum and Bugle Corps in the 1940s, 50s and early 60s, when most towns in western NY and northwestern PA showed competitive drill teams at parades and celebrations. These groups, usually sponsored by fraternal clubs, veteran’s organizations or fire departments, were fiercely competitive for prize money and Jamestown’s local Viking Drum and Bugle Corps was very successful because of their excellent music and precision marching.
Folkdrakt: Scandinavian Folk Costumes by Sonja Pascatore and Dr. Julie Boozer
Scandinavia's unique folk costumes speak to the richness of their culture through their intricate embroidery patterns and vivid color combinations. A few centuries ago, each Scandinavian Parish and Province in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden had their own individual distinctive local costume. Men’s and women’s “folkdrakt” identified where they lived and their social class. Learn how to find out about your own ancestral “folkdrakt” and perhaps even make one to wear to next year's festival.
Antique Doll Adventures in Scandinavia by Kate Reed
Kate Reed is a United Federation of Doll Clubs (UFDC) national judge of antique dolls, who will share photos and stories of her travels, research and study of rare Scandinavian dolls. (UFDC was established in 1949 with a membership including doll clubs world-wide, members-at-large, museums, libraries and corporations. This international group includes collectors of both antique and modern dolls.) Kate will be available on Saturday afternoon to identify or evaluate dolls brought to the festival.
Finding Your Swedish Ancestors: a Beginning Lesson on Genealogy Research by Janet Wahlberg
Janet Walberg is a Research Assistant at the Fenton History Museum. This presentation is an introductory program on finding your Scandinavian ancestors. You will learn about genealogical websites and resources available locally and on-line. Finding your ancestors is easier than you think! Fenton genealogists will be available to help you at the genealogy table in the exhibit area on Saturday and Sunday.
Why Is This Region So Swedish? by Donald Sandy
Don explores why and how the Swedish immigrants in the1840s began to settle in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New York. Two little girls led the way for this area to become a major destination. By the 1920s, Jamestown, NY had the largest percentage of Swedish citizens of any city in the United States. Don is the Coordinator of the Scandinavian Folk Festival and has been awarded the medal of the Royal Polar Star by the King of Sweden.
Jamestown is STILL Swedish!
Presented by a panel of local Swedish merchants who successfully produce and sell authentic Scandinavian foods and merchandise. Allen Peterson will relate growing up on his grandfather’s farm with its roadside produce stand and maintaining his family’s rich tradition of producing and marketing Swedish goods, along with his granddaughter, Kaitlyn Bentley, who imports and markets Swedish gift items and books at Peterson Farms. Rick and Chad Ecklof explain their tradition of producing delicious authentic Swedish Bake goods…from scratch, that taste just like your grandmother’s!
Astrid Lindgren by Dr. Wesley Boozer
Astrid Lindgren, one of the world’s most translated authors and author of Pippi Longstocking, by Dr. Wesley Boozer, Professor of English, Hodges University, Naples, Florida. In 2018, a film about Astrid Lindgren, “Becoming Astrid,” came to wide acclaim at movie theaters around the world. It tells of a budding storyteller, eager to break free from her loving but strict, conservative family in rural Sweden, ultimately becoming author of one of the world's most successful series of children's books. This talk will explore Lindgren's life.
On the Trail of the Vikings in North America by Milton Franson
Milton, an author of the popular historical Viking writings, grew up in Jamestown. His Viking trilogy, "The Wineland Sagas" follows the known (and suspected) footsteps of Viking explorers in North America from Leif in 1003 to later Viking visitors and settlers and brings the characters and events to life as he ties them into his historical fiction novels. He will trace travels over a span of 500 years. from Maine to Rhode Island to Kensington, Minnesota. Milt’s long-time interest has been a study of the Viking explorers in the Sagas and Leif Erikson’s settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in North America in 1003 AD five hundred years before Columbus! A book signing will follow.
Going Home by Dr. Donald Hultquist
Dr. Hultquist, Emeritus Professor from the University of the Michigan, grew up near Jamestown and Falconer. "Going Home" is about his travels to southern Sweden, which led him to ancestral homes and the cousins who now live in them. It is also about the emotions of returning to visit the Jamestown area. His presentation is a tribute to great-great-grandmother Stina Persdotter who immigrated to Jamestown 150 years ago to join her step-son Frank Peterson and his wife Johanna Charlotta Johnson, the "Mother of the Jamestown Swedish Community."
Trip of a Lifetime by Jamestown's Thule Swedish Folk Dance Team
The Team’s trip to Sweden in 2018 presented by a panel of participants, dancers, and musicians who made the trip, led by Mary-AnnEva Ingrao and Katie Peterson. During their 10-day tour of Sweden, the Dance Team met, learned and danced with Swedish folk dance teams in different cities, from Stockholm to Rättvik to Örebro. The dancers shared Swedish food together, stayed in unique lodgings, visited museums and famous sites such as the Carl and Karin Larsson home in Sundborn, Dalarna. While traveling through Sweden, many of the dancers had the opportunity to meet with relatives and friends. Photos and live stories will enliven their presentation.
Dreams Come True by Curt Carlson
The most popular TV show in Sweden is “Allt for Sverige.” Curt Carlson, one of the contestents describs his experiences as the winner of this reality TV show using U-Tube videos of the show. You will see Curt, a retired glassblower from the Corning Glass Works, now a mentor at the Museum, visiting his own grandfather’s house in Sweden for the very first time. Would you like to be a contestant?
Crossing the Pond by Dr. Julie Lindblom Boozer
A portrayal of a single 18 year old girl arriving at Jamestown's Erie RR Station alone at midnight in the 1880s, by her granddaughter, Dr. Julie Lindblom Boozer. Julie grew up on Jamestown’s southside, just around the corner from Grandma Lindblom, who told stories to her grandchildren about her adventures “crossing the pond.” An Emeritus Professor, Wesley College, Dover, Delaware, Julie is now retired in the 150 year old Swedish log house of her ancestors in Scandia, Pennsylvania.
Religion and the Early Swedes (1844-1865) by John Everett Jones
A description of the religious motivations of the Swedes who established the Scandinavian community in the Jamestown area. Details about the formation of congregations and conflicts that divided the Swedish community. And biographies of the first Swedish ministers who served our area.
New Sweden: Colony to Community by Trevor Brandt
Trevor Brandt is curator of the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia. This talk focuses on Sweden's growth in the early 1600s and its imperial ambition in the New World. The New Sweden Colony existed on both sides of the Delaware River between 1638 and 1655 and was the first permanent European settlement in the area. While its forts and farms in modern-day Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Swedesboro were short-lived, its legacy lived on through the Swedish language, churches, and the minds of Swedish-Americans.
Tre Kronor Castle by Michael Lindner
Michael will tour his scale model of the Tre Kronor Castle which was located at the site of the current Stockholm Palace.


Finely Crafted by: Kara

Denell Conley of Kennedy, NY, will have handmade wooden gnomes and sailboats with Scandinavian ribbons.

Returning to JCC is Ellen Fjermedal with
Ellen’s Rosemaling, famous for her painting.

Make sure to stop by and give her a warm welcome!

Mor Mor’s Attic


European Sheepskinsfrom Buffalo, NY, is joining us again this year.


The sheepskins are absolutely beautiful!

You can check them out at

Kate Kylander Svensson with Uniquely Swedish Gifts from Lititz, Pennsylvania

They will have a variety of Swedish and Scandinavian linens and gifts.

Anne Jorunn Syvertsen A new vendor coming all the way from NORWAY!

She will have many hand-knitted gifts and some handstitched items.

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Festival Market Tent

The Festival Market Tent is staffed by volunteers and offers a wide variety of unique items. 


One section is the Loppis (flea market) where unique family heirlooms and used Scandinavian items are located.Festival volunteers are constantly seeking Scandinavian items at community sales during the year and bringing these items together in the Market Tent.  Anybody can place items for sale on a consignment basis.  It is already known that a collection of Swedish made copper and wooden items will be available. The Loppis offers one of a kind items that can not be purchased in a store.


Another section of the Festival Market Tent is the Hemslojdsbutik.  A wide variety of items that are hand made are offered.  It could be Swedish painted items, Ecklof baked delicacies, hand knitted afghans, linens of many types such as pillow cases. tablecloths and table runners.  Even locally grown blueberries have been offered in the past.  A new item this year will be chainmail jewelry.


The Festival Market Tent also has a Gift Shop offering a wide variety of commercially made Scandinavian items such as calendars, books, Viking helmets, Swedish Christmas decorations, decorative plates and t-shirts.  Too many items to list.  Check out the Festival souvenirs.




2018 Scandinavian Festival
Check out the Image Gallary!

Contact Information

For more information about the festival, please contact the the following

(716) 665-088
Festival Coorinator
(716) 665-4737
Vendor Information
Registration Form
(814) 757-8701
Lecture Coordinator
(716) 665-9506
(716) 450-4687