The American Swedish Institute was truly ablaze with the spirit of spring as the holiday of Valborgsmassoafton was celebrated April 30th. This eve of May Day celebration is traditionally observed with large bonfires, dancing, and the imbibing of various beverages to give nod to the end of a long winter. Surviving the winter was an accomplishment, and the arrival of spring meant life.
Since the opening of the Nelson Cultural Center, and FIKA cafe in June of 2012, the ASI has been touched with the blush of a new life. The staff is ever busy weaving the old traditions of Scandinavia with the modern way of life that these countries embody. What they have succeeded in creating is a place where the young and old can thrive in harmony.
Cocktails at the Castle was just the event to bring people together to toast the coming spring. Twelve hundred people swarmed the ASI. Children, and adults alike made birchbark decoupage plaques. DJ’s spun music inside, and theatrical tours of the Turnblad mansion ensued. Outside, the courtyard was frenzied, with chaotic lines for food, beer, wine, and signature cocktails. A movie was shown on the mansion façade and several bonfires kept the crowd warm. As fire is so symbolic to this celebration, Fire Mama Amy Bloss entertained the crowd. Live music played throughout the evening, from the young and energetic set by Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir (not a choir at all FYI), to the urban alt styling of the Teenage Moods. Wood carving demos, and lawn games rounded out the outdoor festivities.
So, if you have never been to the ASI, then this is the time to make that trip. What once was your parent’s, and grandparent’s history, can now be yours to help create. Even if you don’t have a drop of Swedish blood in you, be aware that you are part of the future that the ASI is so eagerly embracing.
For more information on events at the ASI:
www.asimn.org/exhibits, FB, Twitter…