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The Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival features three days of some some of the best entertainment of the year! Singers, musicians, and dances from around the globe come to Astoria to celebrate our Scandinavian heritage! Below are some details about each of the exciting performers that await you at the 2020 Scanfest!
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Preview Kardemimmit on YouTube.  Click Here


Kardemimmit

Featured Entertainers from Finland
Ancient Instruments and Angelic Voices

Kardemimmit takes you to a journey into the Finnish Midsummer’s magical night where the sun doesn’t set at all. The air is filled with the ancient mystery of time standing still and the nature is heartbreakingly beautiful at the peak of its bloom. Kardemimmit is the sound of the Finnish forest

Kardemimmit is a band of four awesome women playing the Finnish national instrument, kantele. The band members are Maija PokelaJutta RahmelAnna Wegelius and Leeni Wegelius. Kardemimmit are in charge of their own music – they compose, as well as arrange, write lyrics and produce. Alongside 15 and 38 stringed kanteles, singing has a big part in Kardemimmit’s musical universe where original pieces with a modern approach still have a strong foundation in Finnish, Eastern European and Scandinavian traditions. The Finnish reki-singing style, 19th century dancing music, Perhonjokilaakso kantele playing style, Eastern Finnish archaic improvisation and ancient runo singing are all present in Kardemimmit’s music.


Performances:

Friday, June 19, 6:00-6:45 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 12:30-1:15 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 2:15-3:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 4:15-5:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Sunday, June 21, 11:15 A.M-12:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Sunday, June 21, 2:00-2:45 PM - Arena Main Stage


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Preview Sturla and Øystein's music on YouTube.  Click Here


Sturla Eide and Øystein Sandbukt

Featured Entertainers from Norway

Sturla Eide is one of Norway’s most accomplished traditional fiddlers and Øystein Sandbukt plays acoustic guitar with an emphasis on Norwegian folk tunes. Sturla Eide has been fiddling since 1982 and is also a composer. His tune «Dimmisjonspols» («Discharge Pols») has become a household staple of the Scandinavian repertoire, performed in most folk music gatherings. Øystein Sandbukt started out as a rock guitarist but then got curious about Norwegian traditional music. He retuned his guitar like a fiddle with two bass strings, experimented, and found that he can play old fiddle tunes like fiddlers do. Together Eide and Sandbukt offer a fascinating journey through the vast range of Norwegian traditional fiddle and guitar tunes. Most of the main melodies fall to Sturla as he plays the violin and a wonderful Norwegian nine-stringed Hardangerfiddle. This music is interesting stuff. The basic tone will be familiar to any experienced listener of traditional Celtic music, but it’s not Celtic music, it’s Norwegian. Every melody in Norwegian traditional music is saturated by rhythm because the tunes had to be danceable by themselves a long time ago. The melody is in the rhythm and the rhythm is in the melody. Enjoy the energetic, edgy and powerful tunes presented on violin and guitar as Sturla and Øystein improvise over traditional tunes that could still be used for dancing. Everything is undoubtably pure Norwegian!


Performances:

Friday, June 19, 5:00-5:45 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 10:45-11:30 A.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 3:15-4:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 5:15-6:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Sunday, June 21, 10:15-11:00 A.M. - Arena Main Stage
Sunday, June 21, 12 12:15-1:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage


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Preview Amy's music on YouTube.  Click Here


Amy Hakanson and Collin Stackhouse


Portland musician Amy Hakanson plays Swedish nykelharpa. Amy was trained in classical violin and heard her first nyckelharpa in 2008. She started playing herself in 2014 and since then has studied in Sweden with several well-known folk musicians. Amy performs regularly with her Nordic fusion band Varelse but today is appearing with Collin Stackhouse on fiddle.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 10:00-11:30 A.M. - Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 12:00-12:45 P.M. - Exhibit Hall


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Learn more about the Astoria Nordic Heritage Park. Click here.


Astoria Nordic Heritage Park Update


Astoria Nordic Heritage Park will honor the immigrant tradition that brought thousands of Scandinavians to Oregon’s North Coast in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It will be a public space to make locals and visitors alike aware of the ethnic heritage that contributed immensely to the fabric of our community. It will honor families that said their last good-byes in Scandinavia and moved to Astoria to become Americans. Astoria Nordic Park Committee Chair and Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association Vice-President Judi Lampi can describe the fantastic design for the park created by the West Studio of Seattle Washington and detail the timeline and progress of the effort to raise one million dollars to pay for its construction.

Visit with committee members at their booth in the arena to learn more about park progress.


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Learn more about the Astor Street Opry Company. Click here.


Astor Street Opry - Shanghaied in Astoria


Now in its 34th season, Shanghaied in Astoria, is part-vaudeville, part-soap opera, and part 1950’s style Hollywood musical, all combined into a fun and entertaining look at traditional local cultural folklore, including immigrant cannery workers from Scandinavia. What originated as a celebration of Astoria tradition has become a tradition itself and you don’t want to miss it! Catch Shanghaied cast members performing their olio acts in the beer garden at festival on Saturday.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 1:00-1:45 P.M. - Beer Garden
Saturday, June 20, 3:00-3:45 P.M. - Beer Garden
Saturday, June 20, 5:00-5:45 P.M. - Beer Garden


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Check out more about Brownsmead Flats on Facebook - Click here.


Brownsmead Flats


Brownsmead Flats are a local group from Brownsmead, Oregon, twenty miles east of Astoria. They’re a string band consisting of guitars, bass, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, fiddle and hammered dulcimer. Ray Räihälä writes lots of their tunes and he’s a genuine Finn! The Brownsmead Flats’ music appeals to all ages .... toe-tapping, dancing, and singing along...all are encouraged at a Flats concert.


Performance:

Sunday, June 21, 10 A.M.-12:00 P.M. - Exhibit Hall


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Dance Lessons with Patrick McMonagle


Patrick McMonagle has been folk dancing since high school in Seattle in the 1960s. He’s taught folkdance to University of Washington students and teaches at the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Junction City Scandinavian Festival. One of his regular teachers included Gordon Tracie whose Skandia LP he rereleased on CD in 1997. Currently Pat leads folkdances at the Swedish Club in Seattle.  Pat’s favorite joke:

“Why don’t dogs dance?”
“Because they have two left feet!”

Left feet aside, Pat will teach five short dance lessons at the 2020 festival and call mixers at the Friday and Saturday night open dances. No prior experience or partner is necessary.


Dance Lessons:

Friday, June 19, 4:00-4:30 P.M. - Exhibit Hall
Friday, June 19, 5:00-5:30 P.M. - Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 1:00-1:30 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center
Saturday, June 20, 3:00-3:30 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center
Saturday, June 20, 5:00-5:30 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center

Mixers with Pat McMonagle:

Friday, June 19, 8:00-10:00 P.M. - Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 8:00-10:00 P.M. - Arena Dance Floor

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Icelandic Horses - Larry & Jackie Taylor


Jackie and Larry Taylor of Yelm, Washington will show their Icelandic horses in the horse arena in the low building next to the Midsummer Pole. Icelandic horses are a pure breed that developed in Iceland. The horses are mostly pony-sized but are still called horses. They are short backed and can carry a two-hundred-and-twenty-five-pound man. They are long-lived and hardy and have unusual gaits. Jackie and Larry will provide demonstrations of these attractive animals and let you see them up close. The Taylor family will be close by for any questions either in the arena or in the barn.


Appearances:

Friday, June 19, 2:00-6:00 P.M. - Horse Arena
Saturday, June 20, 9:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. - Horse Arena
Sunday, June 21, 9:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. - Horse Arena


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Learn more about the Leikarringen of Portland. Click here.


Leikarringen of Portland Dancers


 “Leikarringen” means circle or round dance. The priority of this Portland group is the preservation of Nordic culture. The group’s ages range from 4 to young adult and they love to perform around the Pacific Northwest. They rehearse on Tuesdays in SE Portland and welcome new members. Check them out on Facebook too. Christie Stilson is director of the group and Ethan Hardy leads the Stor Leikarringen.

Note: Leikarringen likes to perform outdoors if the weather is nice. Look for them in front of the main entrance on Saturday.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 11:45 A.M.–12:15 P.M. - Arena Main Stage 
Saturday, June 20, 1:15–2:00 P.M. - Exhibit Hall


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Polka Dots


The Polka Dots formed in the fall of 2018 at the suggestion of Astoria’s veteran accordionist Coreen Bergholm. This North Coast Combo is known for their willingness to perform live traditional music for a variety of events in the local community. All members are of Nordic heritage and have a special enthusiasm for Northern European dance music. Members include Nancy Word and Ruby McCord on accordion and Noel Rydbom on string bass.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 8:00-9:30 A.M. - Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 12:30-1:00 P.M. - Midsummer Pole
Sunday, June 21, 8:00-9:45 A.M. - Exhibit Hall


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Reader's Theater: From the Suomi Hall Attic


For years, members of the local Nordic community have talked about the treasures hidden in the attic at Suomi Hall. Recently Finnish Brotherhood members investigated and found scripts of early plays that were performed in the first half of the 20th century. Suomi Hall still has an elevated stage with lights and sets from past productions that haven’t been performed for years but audience members today will get a peek at the entertainment of the past. Finnish immigrant Sirpa Duoos of Astoria read over a dozen scripts and selected one to translate to English. It’s called Love and Politics. ChrisLynn Taylor of the Astor Street Opry auditioned, selected a cast, and lead rehearsals in preparations for this year’s Readers Theater selection. Funds from the Clatsop County Cultural Coalition and Oregon Cultural Trust make this project possible. Enjoy an entertaining hour of vintage entertainment.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 2:00-2:45 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center
Saturday, June 20, 4:00-4:45 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center
Sunday, June 21, 12:30-1:15 P.M. - Dairy Barn / Event Center


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Learn more about Coreen Bergholm. Click here.

Scandinavian Country


Returning for the Queen’s Ball on Friday evening after the Coronation will be local favorite Coreen Bergholm and her band, Scandinavian Country. Coreen learned to play accordion in an immigrant community in North Dakota and now spends winters performing around Yuma, Arizona, where she met Ken, the tuba and trombone player. This is the band that plays the local favorite dances like the Varsouvienne, the Butterfly and the Irish Waltz as well as polkas, schottisches, waltzes, and hambos. They even play the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Pokey! Other musicians include former Astorian Donna Mansfield and guitar specialist John Orr. On Saturday evening, Scandinavian Country will provide live music for the dance contests in the arena and music and mixers for dancing afterwards.


Performances:

Friday, June 19, 8:00-11:00 P.M. - Queen's Ball, Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 7:00-10:00 P.M. - Dance Contests followed by Open Family Dance, Arena


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Learn more about Coreen Bergholm. Click here.

The Squeezer and the Geezer


Coreen Bergholm learned to play accordion in an immigrant community in North Dakota and now spends winters performing around Yuma, Arizona, where she met Ken Presthus, tuba and trombone player. Coreen and Ken are local favorites and will be joined by friends in a jam session. We know you will enjoy their music and shenanigans in the beer garden.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 2:00-2:45 P.M. - Beer Garden
Saturday, June 20, 4:00-4:45 P.M. - Beer Garden


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Tulehoidjad Estonian Folk Dancers

From Portland

Returning to the 2020 Midsummer Festival after a long absence is Tulehoidjad, an Estonian folkdance group from Portland, Oregon. Tulehoidjad means Torch Bearers and was formed in 1950. They have taught Estonian folk dances to three generations of Estonian immigrants and many American friends. Keeping Estonian traditions alive and teaching Americans about Estonian folk dance are its primary aims.


Performances:

Saturday, June 20, 1:30-2:00 P.M. - Arena Main Stage
Saturday, June 20, 3:00-3:45 P.M. - Exhibit Hall


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Vasa Swedish Folk Dance Group


Vasa Swedish Folk Dance Group, the littlest dancers at the festival come from Portland and will perform at the festival on Sunday. This group of Swedish dancers is led by Christine Smith. They missed last year’s festival because they were in Sweden to celebrate Midsummer!


Performances:

Sunday, June 21, 12:15-12:45 P.M. - Exhibit Hall
Sunday, June 21, 1:15-1:45 P.M. - Arena


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Learn more about the Empire of Chivalry and Steel. Click here.


The Empire of Chivalry and Steel

Viking Encampment

The Empire of Chivalry and Steel specializes in the recreation of the culture of the Middle Ages, including the art forms, events (feasts, tournaments, ceremonies and wars), and combat arts from that period. The purpose of this nonprofit educational corporation is to study (and teach the general public) ideals and history from 800 AD to 1650 AD within the geographical boundaries of Europe and to provide an organized effort in the collection, interpretations and distribution of historical data through publication and demonstration.  Empire of Chivalry and Steel participants will open their Viking Encampment to the public on Saturday and Sunday and provide demonstrations of Viking sword fighting and armour making on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. NEW this year is Fireside Storytelling on Saturday evening. Join the reenactors for Norse myths and legends.


Encampment Open:

Saturday, June 20, 10:00 A.M.-6:00 P.M. - Outdoors
Sunday, June 21, 10:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. - Outdoors

Demonstrations:

Saturday, June 20, 1:00 P.M - Outdoors
Saturday, June 20, 2:00 P.M - Outdoors
Saturday, June 20, 3:00 P.M - Outdoors
Sunday, June 21, 12:00 P.M. - Outdoors
Sunday, June 21, 1:00 P.M. - Outdoors
Sunday, June 21, 2:00 P.M. - Outdoors


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Learn more about the Nordic Viking Dancers. Click here.


Astoria Viking Nordic Dancers


Astoria’s own dance group includes dancers from second grade to adults. The Viking Nordic Dancers are the youngest group and several members are performing at their first midsummer festival. Experienced teen-age dancers make up the Viking Dancers who are frequently joined by the adults from the Scandia Dancers. The Nordic Viking Scandia Dancers are led by Kevin Ladd and Bev Hoofnagle.


Performances:

Friday, June 19, 7:00 P.M. - Queen's Coronation, Arena
Saturday, June 20, 10:00-10:30 A.M. - Arena
Saturday, June 20, 12:30 P.M. - Midsummer Pole
Saturday, June 20, 4:00-4:30 P.M. - Viking, Nordic, Scandia Performance, Exhibit Hall
Saturday, June 20, 4:30-4:45 P.M. - Audience Participation, Exhibit Hall
Sunday, June 21, 1:45-2:30 P.M. - Audience Participation, Exhibit Hall
Sunday, June 21, 3:00-3:30 P.M. - Arena