The Sankta Lucia Festival, sponsored by the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association, is family fun at a great price. It’s held every November at 7 P.M. on Friday immediately following Thanksgiving. The Sankta Lucia Ceremony takes place at the Astoria High School Auditorium and the dancing and refreshments are in the Commons.
In Scandinavia, “Santa Lucia” is celebrated in December, but in Astoria, this winter festival of lights is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving to tie in with the opening of the Christmas season. In Sweden the preferred spelling is “Sankta Lucia” for the title of the young woman chosen to lead the procession of attendants in white robes and young men called “Star Boys”. The runner-up for the Miss Scandinavia contest from the previous June is the Lucia Bride and wears a crown of candles on her head. Other members of the court are the Lucia attendants. The new Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Court for the upcoming year is introduced and afterwards there are refreshments and public dancing.
You do not have to be Scandinavian to participate and enjoy this fun evening. Everyone is invited to leave the Thanksgiving left-overs and shopping and come listen to music, sing some Christmas Carols, mingle with friends and dance.
Admission is $1 or $5 per family with all admission funds going to the Scandinavian Festival Scholarship Fund administered by the Astoria High School Scholarships, Inc.