For those of Scandinavian descent, Dec. 13 is one of the most highly cherished days of the year, serving as the official beginning of the Yuletide season.
Residents of Sweden, Norway and other nearby countries have generally regarded the day as the longest of the year. Additionally, it marks the start of the days with very little sunlight.
Traditionally, this is a time to give animals an extra portion of food, as well as an opportunity to donate food to the needy.
In celebration of the sacred day, the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation developed the Lucia Program. The Lucia Program is not meant to detract from Advent, nor the Christmas season, but to add to it.
This year the celebration will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 825 Forest Ave., Jamestown.
Shelby Adams, this year's Lucia, is a junior at Jamestown High School. She is the daughter of Shelley Adams of Jamestown and Gary Adams of Tennessee and South Carolina. She began Scandinavian dancing at the age of 4. Her interests include soccer, track, skiing and cheering. She is committed to her academics and plans to pursue a career in dentistry. Shelby is honored to be this year's Lucia. Her attendants will be Haley Morgenstern, Emily Nelson, Samantha Hearburg and Hannah Tibbitts.
Following the program will be a social hour with coffee, punch, Lucia buns and Swedish cookies. There is no charge for the program, but donations will be accepted to help cover costs.
Entertainment during the social hour will be provided by the Thule Lodge Children's ''Three Crown Club'' dancers, directed by Donna Johnson, accompanied by accordion player Don Sandy.
The program coordinators are Donna Johnson, Gerd Brigiotta, Susanna Ecklof, Maria Malmstrom and Norm Owen.
For more information, contact Norm Owen at 487-1849.