Carla Oja, president of the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association, has announced that the 2021 Scandinavian Midsummer Festival will be modified due to the Covid pandemic and state health regulations. Several events will still take place with a few changes.
Coronation of Miss Scandinavia 2021 will take place virtually at 7 PM on Friday, June 18. Senior princesses sponsored by the Danish Society, Finnish Brotherhood, Sons of Norway and VASA Swedish Lodge will speak about their Scandinavian heritage and a panel of judges will select one to reign as Miss Scandinavia 2021. The livestream can be accessed at www.AstoriaScanFest.org.
The stationary optog or walking parade will take place from 11 AM to 12 noon on Saturday, June 19th, on the north side of Marine Drive in front of the Columbia Maritime Museum. Participants in Nordic folk wear with flags will station themselves on Marine Drive between 16th and 20th streets. Loran Mathews, the 2021 Grand Marshal, will be honored for his fifty years of volunteer service to the Midsummer Festival. The newly crowned Miss Scandinavia, her court, and the Viking, Nordic, and Scandia Dancers will be there. All Scandinavian lodges and societies are invited to participate. Passers-by are encouraged to honk and show support for the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival now in its 54th year as it strives to keep Nordic traditions alive on the North Coast.
At noon the gathering will move to the future site of Astoria Nordic Heritage Park on the Riverwalk at 16th Street for a modified Flag Raising Ceremony. The 2021 Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Court will be introduced and the national anthems of the United States, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden will be played.
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association will also sponsor a virtual Readers Theater that will be available on YouTube from 5 PM, June 15, through June 30. Astor Street Opry is producing a vintage play found in the attic of Suomi Hall. The play is called “Love and Politics” and was performed in Finnish at Suomi Hall in the early part of the 20th Century. Astoria resident and Finnish immigrant Sirpa Duoos has translated the play into English. ChrisLynn Taylor is the director and the video-recording will take place on the stage at Suomi Hall. This is event is made possible by a grant from the Clatsop Cultural Coalition.
The Midsummer Festival Association looks forward to a regular three-day festival in 2022. Details of 2021 Midsummer Festival events can be found on Facebook and online at www.AstoriaScanFest.org.