Jamestown, being a center for the celebration of the Swedish culture, will have visitors from Ohio, Pennsylvania and all over Western New York for this year's Julmarknad on Saturday.
The Julmarknad (Swedish Market Day) is all about preparing for a Scandinavian Christmas. In the Sweden of our ancestors, the farmers would meet in the village square and share the crafts they had been making during the early winter. This year, in Jamestown, the Julmarknad will be found at eight locations.
It begins at Jamestown Community College in the Hamilton Collegiate Center. Twenty-three tables have been reserved for handcrafters from the Jamestown area to share their products, providing an opportunity to pick up unique Swedish items as Christmas gifts. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon.
At the same location beginning at 9:45 a.m. will be the Scandinavian Studies Program's monthly Culture Day. There will be about 14 workshops with sessions at 10-11 a.m. around such topics as the Swedish language, making a Swedish Christmas craft, Norwegian knitting, hardanger embroidery, chip carving, woodcarving, Swedish painting, cooking, Swedish weaving, a book study, and learning a tune on one's own instrument. Additionally, there will be traditional Christmas ring dancing, an appearance by Lucia and music by Svenska Spelman. Door prizes such as Swedish Orrefors and Kosta Boda glassware will be given away. All of this is free and open to the public. At noon a Julbord, Swedish Christmas smorgasbord, will be served. The Julbord is an extensive spread of unique foods of the holiday season. This is an opportunity to sample many traditional Swedish dishes such as Julskinka (ham), sylta, herring, cheeses, rice pudding, pickled beets, cucumber salad, Swedish meatballs and others. A $5 donation is requested for this dinner.
In addition to the events at JCC, one can travel across Curtis Street to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. Admission will be free for the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Besides the artwork of Peterson, there will be the closing exhibit of the artwork of Arthur Singer and Stanley Meltzoff. Refreshments will be served, a door prize will be drawn and Svenska Spelman will be playing music at 1 p.m.
Next, one can move on to Ecklof Bakery and Peterson Farm for more free samples and additional door prizes. Ecklof will be offering their traditional baked goods such as vort limpa bread, spritz, pepparkakor and other holiday cookies, cardamom braids, scorper, almond braids and more. Peterson Farm will have free samples of Christmas foods like Julskinka, yellow pea soup, Swedish meatballs and glogg. At Peterson farm one can order their own Swedish Christmas ham.
Wegmans will be offering free samples of many of their Swedish food products, serving hot Scandinavian dinners to eat in or take out and providing an afternoon of Swedish entertainment. Svenska Spelman will be playing from 2-4 p.m. The band will be joined by the Thule Lodge Children's Folk Dance Team at 2:30 and the Adult Folk Dance Team at 3.
Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Fenton History Center's Swedish room will have a holiday exhibit including a Ljuskrona as used in Southern Sweden. If one is still hungry, a homemade Swedish korv dinner will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church with seatings at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30. Svenska Spelman will provide music for this dinner. Call the church for reservations.
Another site is Jones 212 Bakery and Cafe, where they will also have a door prize drawing. Their celebration will be on Friday since they are closed on Saturday.
For more information, call 484-0415 or visit scandinavianjamestown.org.