The Scandinavians of Northwest Iowa will be gathering on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Brownstone in Cherokee for their 26th anniversary of the Sankta Lucia Festival of Lights.
Starting at 11:30 a.m. a lovely dinner featuring ethnic Scandinavian dishes prepared by laga mat Holly Olson will be served. The festival celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season in Sweden.
The Festival of Lights is in honor of St. Lucia, who according to various legends was a young girl who lived about 300 A.D. and because of her insistence on remaining a loyal Christian had her eyes put out and was executed.
Lucia Day falls on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. In Scandinavia, this was a joyous day after which winter turned into spring. Lucia means "light" and belief in her power to break winters spell gave rise to this Swedish custom.
Young maidens in the festival procession this year are Andrea Anderson and Jessica Anderson of Storm Lake, Alison Douglas of Storm Lake, Jennifer Hirschman of Alta, Kira Kristensen of Storm Lake and also a Danish exchange student, Karmen Loving and Brooke Loving of Albert City.
The program this year will feature "Reflections," by Rev. Mark Youngquist, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Storm Lake and a violin trio of Kjersten, Kevin and Kristopher Ohrlund from LeMars, along with group singing.
Reservations are needed for admission and must be made by Dec. 7 to one of the following phone numbers: 712-225-4677, 712-284-1868; 712-732-2457 or 712-272-3673.