Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Danish Day

The long-awaited day, June 1, came with the threat of thunderstorms. It was the annual event of Minnesota's Danish American Center's, Danish Day.

Located on West Mississippi River
Boulevard since 2006, the DAC grew
out of a local Danish fellowship.
But it takes much more than the threat of a thunderstorm to stop a Dane from celebrating their heritage. It ended up merely sprinkling and didn't dampen the enthusiasm or enjoyment of the 350 people of all ages who attended the day's activities.

Danish Day of the modern variety goes back to 1959, although similar previous events date to  the 19th century. A year in the planning, Danish Day is one of the highlights of the year at the DAC.

Spread out on the Center's lush, green grounds were tents for gathering, enjoying kransekagge, aebliskiver, almond pastries and good, stout Danish coffee; milling around to see the works of nine vendors: Scandinavian yarns, wood carving, gifts, clothing and various crafts; and enjoying a typical Smorrebrod luncheon.

Danish smorrebrod
(open faced sandwiches)
A special exhibit honoring the work of Danish philosopher and theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, was displayed in the Center, and a brief ceremony was held to officially open the Caroline Olsen Danish American Archive. According to long time members, there would be no archive without the extensive work of the late Caroline Olsen, who left us with history monographs, artwork, an authentic regional costume collection and transcribed interviews with older Danes in the community. She was among the founders of the Danish American Fellowship, from which the DAC grew.

Danish Day is also the time to name the "Dane of the Year." The award for 2014 actually went to two well-deserving Danes, instrumental in establishing and maintaining the library and the archives: Helen Stub and Ann Bundgaard.

Danes of the Year:
Helen Stub and Ann Bundgaard
Children were kept busy with arts and crafts activities, making Danish flags and jeweled crowns. That is, when they weren't busy bouncing and climbing!

Fun times for children (of all ages!)

Folk singer, "Spider" John Koerner entertained
the crowd with his harmonica and guitar.
The Carlsberg beer and acquavit only added to the merriment of the day.
 Don't miss next Danish Day if you're in the Twin Cities or Minnesota area. Mark your calendar for June 7, 2015.
Hilsen fra the Minnesota Danes!