Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 12 : Spring 2012 - Page 44

a Midsommar Frukost (breakfast 7-9 a.m.) in Thomas Park, followed (10 a.m.) by Dala Horse painting, making of hair wreaths, Kubb Viking lawn bowling, fiddle music, decorating the Midsommarstang (11 a.m.), art exhibits, singing, dancing and eating homemade ice cream at the New Sweden Museum. Afternoon dance lessons and visiting the Ostlund House, Noak Blacksmith Shop, Lindsten Stuga, Laden (barn) and New Sweden Museum are often followed by visitors attending a Swedish smorgasbord and a community dance (at the New Sweden School) featuring musicians and Swedish dancers. This year, the Orust folk dancers will lead the evening’s entertainment, encouraging those who are interested in joining them to dance and celebrate the colony’s Swedish heritage. Sunday morning, as the sun peeks through the trees at Thomas Park, a colony worship service begins the day at 10 a.m.. Members and friends of the Maine Swedish colony gather to sing praise and give thanks to God, just as the colony’s first settlers did 142 years ago. Following the service, there is lunch available in the park dining hall. 44 SPRING 2012 At 1:00 p.m., as fiddlers play traditional Swedish walking music, the Midsommarstang is carried up Station Road from the museum accompanied by the New Sweden Little Folk Dancers. The pole is set in the ground in front of the music bowl and the festivities of the afternoon begin. Both the U. S. and Swedish national anthems are sung by those attending, led by the master of ceremonies who then gives a formal greeting to all. Guest musicians and Swedish singers and dancers share their talents, as those of us who watch remember the years gone by. We think about the hardy Swedes who left their homes, friends and families in search of a new beginning and a bright future for their descendants. Perhaps, we think about the hardships they faced and the work that was never ending. We think of the courage, hope, industry and the perseverance each settler had, as noted by W.W. Thomas Jr. at the 10th anniversary celebration in 1880 of the founding of his colony of New Sweden. Mr. Thomas referred to the settlers as his, “Children In The Woods” as he described how “the primeval forest