Midsommar features country schools heritage, music, food

Midsommar features country schools heritage, music, food In 1879, before South Dakota even became a state, Clay County was home to 54 school districts. The children of rural families were served by little country schools, usually with one teacher for all eight grades. By 1971, the world was a very different place, and the country schools had closed their doors. Heritage is the focus for the 140th Midsommar at Dalesburg on Friday, June 19. Distinguished scholar and USD Professor Emeritus Dr. Wayne Knutson will talk about "The Heritage of the Country Schools" on Friday, June 19, at the free 2 p.m. program inside the rural church. The free 7 p.m. program on the north lawn features Dr. Rolf Olson with the Dalesburg Cornet Band; Nordic Nimble Feet dancers from Brookings; and Westerville's Own with musicians Owen DeJong, Nick Schwebach and Larry Rohrer. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the evening program and insect repellant. Prepare to feast, as well. The 140th celebration serves a tasty smorgasbord with meatballs and potatis korv, and the youth from Dalesburg Lutheran and Komstad Covenant churches will serve snacks and homemade pie at their food stand. Cost of the smorgasbord is $10 adults and $4 ages 8 and under. Midsommar came to the area along with settlers from Dalarna County of Sweden. The immigrants homesteaded and farmed, and founded three churches that still operate today in this rural community north of Vermillion: Dalesburg Lutheran, Komstad Covenant and Dalesburg Baptist. § 1 p.m.: The food stand, featuring pie, taverns and snacks, opens on the south lawn. ?§ 2 p.m.: Program in the air-conditioned church featuring Dr. Wayne Knutson. ? § Afternoon: Youth Lefse Making Factory (lefse will be sold); children's activities. ? § 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Scandinavian Smorgasbord, featuring meatballs, potatis korv and other ethnic foods made by the ladies of the church. Cost is $10 per person ($4 for ages 8 and younger). §  7 p.m.: Evening program on the beautiful north lawn (weather permitting). The program includes the Dalesburg Cornet Band, The Nordic Nimble Feet, Westerville's Own and the raising of the Midsommar Pole. It ends with Scandinavian dancing for all. § A friendly game of softball follows the evening program at the Ben Carlson Field across the road. Sunday, June 21, features Sunday worship outside (weather permitting) at 9 a.m., presented by the rural area's three traditionally Swedish churches – Dalesburg Lutheran, Dalesburg Baptist and Komstad Covenant. Dalesburg Lutheran Church is a traditionally Swedish church founded by Dakota Territory homesteaders who emigrated from Sweden in the 1860s. The first building was erected in 1874. The present sanctuary dates from 1897. The ELCA church features impressive woodwork, stunning stained glass windows, and, of course, Midsommar – all in a beautiful countryside setting. Dalesburg Lutheran is 12 miles north of Vermillion on the University Road; or 5.5 miles west of I-29 exit 38 (Volin). Due to construction on I-29, other routes include 3 miles east of Hwy. 19 at 306th St. (Volin Road); or 9 miles south of Hwy. 46 on the University Road.

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