Sunday, June 29, 2008

Swede Fest

I had a great Saturday. It started with a 14 1/2 mile run in the morning, which went exceptionally well. The temperature was right, and I felt very strong throughout the run. This was sweet redemption from last weekend's long run when it was hot and I felt sluggish. Cooler temperatures, pleasant sunshine; what a wonderful morning to run!

Lots of birds and animals en route; there were many baby mallards floating around on the lake with their moms, I saw one of the local eagles, and various songbirds were everywhere, many of them bringing food back to the nest. Very nice to see.

I also encountered six different cottontail rabbits along the trail, including one that was a cute little baby. This works out to a paltry .41 BPM (bunnies per mile), so I would like to see that number increase! :)

Following some errands, I once again pointed The Silver Hornet south and made my way back to St. Peter to visit my aunts and uncles. In order to take in some additional Scandinavian festivities. This time we would be attending Swede Fest at Bernadotte Lutheran Church outside of Lafayette, MN.

The beautiful Bernadotte Lutheran Church



Swede Fest is in its 14th year and serves as a fundraiser for the church. They had plenty of food, a craft sale and silent auction, horse rides (courtesy of my uncle Jim), and also a program. And, just for the record, they did let me in even though I am mostly Norwegian! :)

Unfortunately, weather was not as cooperative as it was last weekend at the Norseland Sesquicentennial. On again, off again rain showers plagued the afternoon, forcing the program to be moved inside. It also created a challenge for the dinner, since most of the seating was outdoors in Bernadotte's lovely park. But we Minnesotans are a highly adaptable bunch, and we would never let a little rain spoil a party!

Horse rides at Swede Fest



I am still raving about the food! As far as festivals go, this was one of the finest meals I have had. Of course, there was a Swedish theme; Swedish meatballs, Swedish rice pudding, Swedish, cookies, and Swedish rye bread. But there was also some fantastic summer picnic fare including fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw. Delicious! It was clear that much of the food was homemade, and people put a lot of thought, time, and effort into making an excellent meal.

The dinner at Swede Fest



In spite of the rain, the festival seemed to be a huge success. My uncle gave horse rides in between the raindrops, and the program was fun. A couple of the highlights were hearing Roger Erickson speak (a local broadcasting legend in the Twin Cities who was a member of the Bernadotte congregation), as well as hearing the "Swen and Ole," a comedy duo from Hanska who tell the infamous and heavily Scandinavian influenced "Swen and Ole" jokes.

A good time was had by all. At least, I certainly had a good time! It is always fun to see my aunts and uncles, to visit the old family farm, and to immerse one's self into some more Scandinavian culture!

Until next time,

Jean
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