Three of Sweden's most accomplished musicians headline the annual Midsommar at Dalesburg celebration on Friday, June 22. Trio Con Brio of Stockholm will entertain for both the afternoon and evening programs.
The traditional Swedish celebration in rural Clay County features a scrumptious smorgasbord, the classical Swedish trio, a sing-along with Mike Pedersen of Nora, barbershop singers and more at Dalesburg Lutheran Church. Everyone is valkommen!
Trio Con Brio masters classical music, hymns and jazz with a variety of instruments and vocals. The trio headlines the 2 p.m. program in the air-conditioned church and the 7 p.m. program on the beautiful north lawn. The musicians – Carina Cederwall, flute and vocal; Jan Holmgren, oboe, English horn and vocal; and Stig Andersson, piano, arrangements and vocal – are all educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. They have appeared at festivals and in concert in Europe and across the United States.
Mike Pedersen is known throughout the region for the joyous Christmas sing-alongs he presents annually at the Nora Store in rural Union County. For Midsommar, he will lead a lively summertime sing-along for the 7 p.m. evening program.
The All-Nighters, an area barbershop group, also will perform for the evening program. In addition, the flower-strewn Midsommar Pole will be raised and everyone will be asked to help close the program by learning and joining in traditional Scandinavian dances.
One of the festival highlights is the tasty homemade Smorgasbord from 4:30-6:30 p.m. featuring ethnic specialties like meatballs, potatis korv, fruit soup and more. Cost is $12 for adults and $8 for ages 8 and younger.
Dalesburg Lutheran is 12 miles north of Vermillion on the University Road; or 5.5 miles west of I-29 exit 38 (Volin); or 9 miles south of Hwy 46 on University Road or 3 miles east of Hwy 19 on 306th St. (Volin Road).
The festival is the 143rd celebration at the church and is a joint effort of three traditionally Swedish rural churches in the area – Dalesburg Lutheran, Dalesburg Baptist and Komstad Covenant.
The day at the beautiful church grounds is all about family, friends and faith. The celebration begins at 1 p.m. when the Food Stand, operated by Dalesburg Lutheran and Komstad youth, opens, with a variety of snacks and homemade pie. The afternoon and evening include the 2 p.m. program, the smorgasbord, children's activities beginning at 5pm and the evening program at 7 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, area organizations and craftspeople will be on hand and visitors can look over the Viking ship from Wausa, NE. At the end of the evening, an impromptu softball game is possible at the Ben Carlson Field across the road (weather permitting).
The festival dates back into the late 1860s, when settlers from Dalarna County of Sweden came to Dakota Territory, to the area that is now Southeastern South Dakota. These pioneer families started a Midsommar celebration tradition, based on the festival in Sweden.
Dalesburg Lutheran, Dalesburg Baptist and Komstad Covenant will end this year's celebration on Sunday, June 24, with a community worship service at Dalesburg Lutheran featuring the Community Choir under the direction of John Fahlberg.
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.