Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lindsborg, Kansas

It was a wet day yesterday, with continuing winds of up to 30 miles an hour. We still managed to have a great day in the town of Lindsborg. We knew there was a festival going on in the town, but we did not know the particulars. As it happened, we were most fortunate to attend the town's biennial Hyllningsfest. This festival, which honors the first Swedish pioneers of the town, has been occurring every odd year since 1941. During the year of Hyllningsfest the local schoolchildren learn Swedish dances in their general music classes. These performances, as well as other musical offerings, were a part of the festival which we enjoyed yesterday.
The teen dancers were accompanied by fiddle players. One of the girls played a nyckelharpa, a Swedish musical instrument. I found out later that it is a "keyed fiddle". In the picture of the musicians below the girl with the nyckelharpa is at the end, on the right.
 Everything Swedish was a part of the festival; besides the musical presentations there were also arts and crafts and Swedish foods. While wandering through the festival we also got in a tour of the town. We had read somewhere that the town has 47 works of art in the form of sculptures, wind vanes, murals, iron works and tiles. Counted in that number are 29 wild Dalas. It is perhaps Sweden's best-known icon, a bluntly-rounded, tail-free horse which had been first whittled out of wood. It is a symbol of identity and welcome.
 We stopped at Bethany Lutheran church as it is one of the historic buildings of Lindsborg. Too our pleasant surprise we happened to arrive when an organ concert was being performed, which we listened to for a short while. In that church another fiberglass Dala greeted us. I will have more on Lindsborg in my next posting.

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