Scandinavian Festival returns after hiatus Performers, crafts, food will fill Cal Lutheran campus

After a one-year hiatus, one of the largest Nordic festivals in the western United States will return to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks on April 1 and 2.

The 42nd Scandinavian Festival will celebrate the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami people from the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with music, dancing, food, lectures, demonstrations, vendors and activities for people of all ages.

For kids, the festival includes a Children’s Theater, performances by community children’s groups and a puppet show of Hans Christian Andersen stories. Children can travel through Scandinavia by earning passport stamps for each craft they make linked to the culture of the five different countries. Visitors young and old can create head wreath decorated with flowers and ribbon and dance around the maypole.

Festival goers can wander through an authentic Viking village, as well as a Sami sliddastallan, or community gathering. They can ask a rune reader for advice and visit Norwegian elkhounds. Families can try their hand at Dala horse croquet and play an ancient Viking game called kubb. Moving into the 20th century, Scandinavian vintage cars and motorcycles will be on display.

Cooks will demonstrate how to make ableskivers, leftse, krumkake and more. The Scandinavian food available in the food court will also include Swedish pancakes, Icelandic fish and chips, Viking dogs, Swedish meatballs and open-faced sandwiches.

Performers will include acclaimed storytellers Stina Fagertun of Norway and Robert Seutter (aka True Thomas), musician and entertainer Ross Sutter, the ABBAFAB tribute band, Scandia and Swedish folk dance groups.

New this year at the genealogy booth will be a member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy representing Family Tree DNA, which sells a variety of DNA kits. Local genealogy experts from the Conejo Valley and Ventura County Genealogical Societies will be on hand to share their knowledge and resources.

The Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring the event.

The campus is located at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

Admission is free for children, $5 for teenagers and $10 for adults. Two-day tickets are available for $15 for adults and $7 for teens. Parking is free. For more information or to volunteer, go to scandinaviancenter.org or email [email protected].

Photo credit: Brian Stethem/Cal Lutheran


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