2021 Festival President
2021 Festival Vice President
Carla Oja and Tony Larson, 2021 Festival President & Vice President
2021 Optog Parade Grand Marshal
Despite not being of Nordic heritage, Mathew’s involvement in the Midsummer Festival spans fifty years since 1972 when Ella Simonsen asked him to chair the parade committee. The next year Mathews became chairman of the festival and has since served as chair or co-chair many times and also as budget officer, logistics chair, downtown flags and signs chair, and is currently president of the non-profit Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association.
Mathews is originally from Newton, Kansas, but arrived in Astoria in 1958 when he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He met Astoria native Corleen Johnson in 1959 and they married in 1963. Corleen shares her Norwegian heritage with Loran and he has been “Norwegian by marriage” for fifty-eight years now. Mathews enjoys the cultural aspects of the Midsummer Festival, its family orientation, and the opportunity to get together with friends. Mathews’ efforts over the years have helped ensure that the festival continues in an authentic style with an orientation towards family.
Loran and Corleen Mathews have two children who reside on the North Coast – Tara Johnson and Wade Mathews, and four grandchildren. Mathews is retired Director of Support Services for the Astoria School District and a former Astoria City Councilor. He currently serves on the City Budget Committee and as Treasurer for the Astoria/Warrenton Chamber of Commerce. He’s a motorman for the Astoria Trolley when it’s running and a member of the Sons of Norway lodge. Corleen was recently honored for her volunteer service to the community as a 2021 George Recipient by the Astoria/Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.
Loran Mathews organizing raising of Midsummer Pole
Entertainment, SHP Vice-Chair
Scholarship, Troll Run
2017 Past Festival Chair, Princess Committee
Web Design, Festival Photographer
Parade of Native Wear
ASHA Secretary, Decorations
Festival Secretary, Booths
ASHA board, Astoria Nordic Heritage Park Committee Chair
Raffle, Kubb Tournament
Cathy Oja Williams
Historian, Church Service
ASHA President, Logistics
Former Board Member
The Astoria Troll!