The annual Scandinavian Christmas Fair takes place Saturday, December 7th, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Holshouser Building at the NC State Fairgrounds.
Admission is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
The Scandinavian Christmas Fair is an authentic celebration of the traditions of the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. This Old World celebration is certain to get you in the spirit of the season.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Julmarknad (Christmas Fair in Swedish), which attracts people from Scandinavia and of Scandinavian descent from all over the east coast as well as many Americans that have made this an annual tradition.
Some of what you can expect to find:
- Swedish dolls
- Handcrafted mirrors
- Hand-carved folk figures
- Hand-knit woolen socks
- Homemade dolls
- Embroidered Scandinavian items
- Scandinavian Advent stars
- Handmade silver and bronze jewelry based on Norse mythology
- Swedish Christmas textiles
- Baked items
- Christmas ornaments
- Scandinavian glass
- Dala horses
- Knitted sarves
- Vintage treasures
- Swedish gingerbread
- Swedish woolen gnomes
The Julmarknad always features a variety of homemade foods, such as Swedish meatballs, salmon and pea soup. Be sure to visit the “Coffee Corner” for coffee and wonderful home baked pastries! Talented artisans and vendors offer everything from knives and quilts to crystal pieces, jewelry, homemade bread, Christmas decorations and more.
There will be something on stage the entire day. In addition to nationally acclaimed Scandinavian and Scandinavian-American performers, members of the local Scandinavian community will demonstrate traditional folk dances and play folk music. There will even be a “fashion show” featuring the beautiful folk costumes of the Scandinavian countries. For many families, the highpoint is the Lucia procession. This singing procession of boys and girls celebrating the season of light is a memorable experience and not to be missed.
Scandinavian Christmas Fair Shedule:
- 10 a.m.: Doors open
- 10:30 a.m.: The Triangle Spelmanslag performs traditional and contemporary folk music from the Nordic countries
- 11:30 a.m.: Welcome: National Anthems with Vasa Drängar & presentation of the National Flags. Guest speaker: Magnus Natt och Dag, Honorary Consul of Sweden
- 12:15 p.m.: ScanDans performs traditional folk dances from the Nordic countries
- 12:45 p.m.: The Vasa Drängar Swedish Men’s Choir of Atlanta sings traditional Scandinavian and seasonal songs
- 1:30 p.m.: Announcement of Silent Auction Winners
- 1:40 p.m.: Folk Costume Show featuring the national costumes of Scandinavia
- 2 p.m.:Gangspil – Two of Denmark’s leading folk musicians take us on a tour of the music traditions of their home country! Joining them this year is the great Norwegian guitarist Vidar Skrede!
- 3:30 p.m.: ScanDans performs traditional folk dances from the Nordic countries
- 4 p.m.: Traditional Lucia Procession
- 4:30 p.m.: Raffle Drawing and Announcement of Silent Auction Winners
- 4:40 p.m.: Dancing around the Christmas tree followed by “Julgrans Plundring” (Looting the Christmas tree!)
- 5 p.m.: The 2019 Scandinavian Christmas Fair closes
There are also cultural exhibits and children’s activities such as crafts and storytelling in Pippi Longtocking’s house. Children (of all ages!) are invited to take part in the traditional dancing around the Christmas tree.
Several local Scandinavian organizations are represented at the fair, and there are always plenty of opportunities to learn a little more about the people and customs of the Scandinavian countries. You might even pick up a few words in a local tongue and develop a taste for that traditional herring!
The Scandinavian Christmas Fair is sponsored by SWEA – a Swedish women’s organization and Vasa – a Swedish-American organization. The proceeds from this event go toward scholarships and to support local Swedish and Scandinavian initiatives.