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A Maine Swedish tradition: New Sweden Midsommar Festival

June 24, 2019

The summer before last, I lived with my sister in Northern Maine and we decided to attend the New Sweden, Maine, Midsommar Festival which takes place in late June each year. Its a 2-3 day event, and is steeped in Swedish culture and heritage.  Its a colorful festival filled with beautiful flowers, lots of Maine lupine, and colorful traditional clothing and music.  We went to the decorating of the Midsommar Pole, and stayed to see the children, dressed in authentic Swedish outfits, dance around the pole. They had been practicing for the event for several weeks.  There were wonderful musicians playing lively Swedish music.

What struck me the most in addition to the beauty of it all, was the coming together of all ages to participate and pass along traditional Swedish activities. People came from all across the United States to attend, see family, and join in the Swedish fun.  I grew up in Houlton, Maine, only a couple of hours south of New Sweden and had no idea this festival even existed.

Here is an article about the New Sweden colony itself and how it came to be.

Here is an article published in an Aroostook County newspaper. There is a sweet video imbedded that gives you a real sense of the festival including the great music!

 I have a few hundred images from the special day. Mostly around decorating the Midsommar Pole, the families, the children, dancing around the pole, and people of all ages enjoying the festivities. I have included a few here.  

The New Sweden Historical Society who sponsors the festival each June has written on their FB page that the festival is to “Help us preserve and promote Swedish culture in Northern Maine.”  I would say, you are doing a great job! I hope you had a wonderful 2019 New Sweden Midsommar Fest this past weekend!

Beautiful tradition clothing

Sweet face

flower headdress

those eyes

family affair

making flower wreaths

she glows

decorating the pole with Maine lupine

creative hat decorating

Maine lupine decorating the Midsommer pole

many hands to decorate the pole

family traditions

she was one of my favorite models of the day..

children in traditional Swedish clothing

Maine lupine

Maine lupine

Miss Northern Maine Fair

traditional Swedish music and instruments

the pole is almost ready!

lupine and red socks

Maine lupine

enjoying the festival

last minute words of encouragement

waiting to dance

the team from Maine Public Radio

lupine and more traditional socks

mother and daughter

The decorated pole is ready!

sweet children

The Midsommer Pole being raised


the traditional dancing begins

dancing fun

Swedish dancing

so much fun!

dancing around the pole


Gorgeous Maine lupine gracing the Midsommer pole


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat permalink
    June 24, 2019 5:14 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Linda Quigley permalink
    June 30, 2019 4:32 pm

    Great job capturing the essence of the whole colorful event- the flowers, the dresses, the pole– all of it. Beautiful photos and it looks like so much fun!

    • September 5, 2019 8:35 pm

      Linda, thank you so much! It really was fun and I loved all the tradition! You would love it too!


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