The 52ndt observance of Scandinavian Days was a fantastic weekend of celebrating “An Uff-da Good Time!” Although the weather was hotter than we had expected, we were blessed with no rain. We loved seeing so many people enjoying the music in the park, riding the amusement rides, wandering through the craft show, watching the parade, and attending the worship service in the park. It truly was a weekend of something for everyone.
We could not have even begun to plan and execute the weekend without the immeasurable time and effort that the core committee put in. The committee consisted of: Erica Watts, Stacy Kilstofte, Kathy Halleland, Maddie Lage, Jocee Lowe, Bambi Schrader, Jamie Hetland, Erika Kuroski, Cindy Phelan, Nicole Engelhardt, Craig and Nancy Sargent, Doug Ostrem, Jeni Bungert, Barb Frohling, Susan Dow and Carolyn Ahlstrom. We also valued the support of the GCC Office, Director Abby Huff and Assistant Director Jay Wilson.
The preparation for the weekend begins early and could not have been accomplished without the help of these people: John Moran, Cole Teig and the Parks department who mow, trim trees and beautify the park, Bruce Henrichs and the street crew who helped us with street closings and street repair, Jeff Ishmael and the SC Municipal electric department for installing new services, Matt Sporleder and the Police department for logistics and keeping us safe, Lylse Macdonald and the fire department who advised us on numerous logistics, and especially Mark Jackson for coordinating the city team. The logistics team of Doug and Lori Ostrem who coordinated setups, deliveries and tear downs. The R-S Norsemen football team and Coach Stensland for helping to provide the muscle for moving the picnic tables, VanWall Implement who provided the use of three gators for the weekend, Adam Wilkenson and EBY who lent us and moved the trailers used as the stages. Al and Karen Hermanson, who provide us with storage space. The Underground Coffee Guys for getting the garbage cans ready and to our Boy Scouts and its Venture Crew for garbage detail all weekend.
Last fall, the Scandinavians Days committee and the Sons of Norway jointly purchased a 35-foot replica Viking ship, complete with dragon head and tail, it truly is a sight to see. Credit goes to Bev Aga Schmidt who found us our new treasure. Chelsea Tinken helped us paint the colorful shields and Kevin Keech and Paul Ness worked endless hours making sure it would be parade worthy. Thanks also to Hermanson Farms who provide storage for our ship and Elaine and Carroll Lovig who pulled it in the parade.
Our celebration started early on Thursday night with the Little Mr and Miss event held at the rec center. We had 13 children participate and the judges had a difficult decision selecting the winners as all of the children were outstanding. The event was coordinated by Kathy Halleland with the help of Marijean Winkler and Erica Watts. Our judges were Randy Sierra, MJ Kanin and announcer Betty Boccella. Thursday evening was also the opening night of Judge Story Theatrical Troupe’s production of Addams Family, a fantastic musical loaded with of local talent.
On Friday evening the kiddie parade and the elementary heritage dancers are always fun to watch and crowds lined the street. The kiddie parade had many entries and is always popular. Grace Teig, Tyler Kupka, Kat Hawley, Bev Hawley, Leila Saton, Sarah Yeager and Tess Johnson coordinated the parade. We are grateful for Jodi Friest and the RS Elementary School for continuing the tradition of teaching our elementary students the heritage dances, they are always enjoyed by all ages. Following those dances, the Onion Creek Cloggers gave a performance. Another popular Friday night stop was the SC Fire department. They provided free hotdogs and fire truck rides to many excited children, we really appreciate their involvement.
Later on Friday evening, the second annual glow run for kids was held and was a huge success with 110 kids participating. It was a site to watch all of them run the Jacobson Park trail. Stacy Kilstofte led the event and the following people helped to make it safe and fun: Michaela and Shane Carlson, Staci and Kyle Springer, Katie and Ryan Thorson, Kendra and Doug Braucher, Tammy Hansen, Christie Thoreson, Robin Hink, Laurie Thompson, Dawn Risdal, Holly Richardson, Amy Rathmacher, Wyatt Bunn, Jillian Lykins, Randy Kilstofte, Sarah Cook, Allison Wuebker, Blake Sievers and Tanner Johnson, EMT.
Friday night’s activities were capped off with the fireworks display. Terry Hubby and crew plus the Story City Firemen put a lot of time and effort in setting up the fireworks and the display was spectacular!
Saturday morning provided perfect weather for the 5K run and parade. The Historical Society and Kate and Chris Feil always do a wonderful job organizing and running the 5K. The parade had to change routes this year due to construction, but that didn’t stop the crowds from lining the streets. This great tradition is led by Cindy Phelan and her wonderful volunteers: Nicole Englehardt, Renee Twedt, Mike Phelan, Matthew Phelan, Gerdena Stremick, Dwain Watts, Betty Staker, Rachel Phelan, Amanda Isebrand, Sarah Phelan, Chris Barkema, Erin Barkema, Paul Clark, Roger Fritz, Kelly Sievers and Chris Englehardt. Kenneth and Marjorie Gookin served as parade marshals.
This year, we moved the craft show to a new location, inside the High School Gym. It was a perfect place to escape the heat on Saturday and Sunday. Nancy and Craig Sargent put countless hours into coordinating the show, and it featured over forty vendors. We are grateful to the high school staff for allowing us the use of the building. Our Heritage Hall, in the Community Center, opened in the morning and was busy all Saturday with activities and great authentic food. We thank Carolyn Ahlstrom, Susan Amenson and the Sons for Norway for coordinating this wonderful display of culture.
On Saturday afternoon, Beckey Witthuhn, with help from Joanne MacVey, Shawna Check and Loretta Parker, coordinated our always popular Kumla eating contest for adults and Kringla eating contest for kids. The kumla was made and donated by the Sons of American Legion and the kringla was baked and donated by Tammy Arneson and Made with Love Bakery. This contest is always a crowd favorite and this year was no different. The Lutefisk throw took place after the eating contests. Riley Wilgenbusch ran the event, with the help of Shanon and Jeremy McKinley. The object of the game was to see how far participants could heave the fish down the street, medals were awarded for the three age groups. Thanks to all that braved the blistering pavement to participate! Spectators that were ready for a seat and some shade headed to the high school auditorium to watch the, ever popular, Bill Reilly Contest. Jill Hogan continues to organize this event, and it is a favorite place to watch young rising talent.
Down at the park on Saturday afternoon the crowd was playing games, riding amusement rides, playing laser tag and bingo, eating at the many food stands, getting temporary tattoos, enjoying free balloons, looking at the jeeps, checking out the insect zoo and enjoying demonstrations form the Xtreme Team tumblers and the Shuki Kan Karate club. Many people enjoyed the live music that played Friday night and all day Saturday. Jamie Hetland coordinated all of the bands and there was a variety of music for everyone. The live music and the beautiful setup of the beer garden could not have completed without the hard work of, Jim Keigan, Levi Keech, Paul Ness, Nick Thorson Cole Teig, Alvin, Jean, Pili and Pua Kailiawa, Stephanie Malin, Kyle Keigan, Kyle Healy, who assisted in the constructing (and dismantling) of the stage and lights. We are particularly thankful for Bo Ammerman and Chuck Semler for the use of their equipment, it made cleanup so much easier. Assisting in the operation of the beer garden throughout the weekend were: Jeff Lekwa, Mariah Keech, Levi Keech, Jim Keigan, Kyle Keigan, Erica Watts, Dwain Watts, Kim Birchmier, Angie Keltner, Lance Keltner, Bambi Schrader, Patti Lutjen, Jan Lekwa, John Lekwa, Linda Henderson, Gloria Peterson, Pete Tekippe, Elaine Tekippe, Maddie Lage, Katie Kinnetz, Patty Streit, Anne Rasmussen, Courtney Peters, Shanon McKinley, Valerie Hubert, Brent Clark, Sherry Clark, Mike Healy, Ann Healy, Keegan Gerrard, Stephen Walkup, Zach Schrader, Donna Wendt, Lauren Christensen, Nick Thorson, Mark Anderson, Rachel Wirth, Shelby Markley, Mary Peterson, Steve Peterson, Wayne Williams, Lisa Handeland, Ted Hammes, Terri Hammes, Sam Peterson, Rachel Hagedorn, Jamie Hetland, Justin Hetland, Kim Hetland, Lane Brueland, Michelle Hall, Isaac Hodnefield, Michaela Stewart and Mike Wineland. We could not have done it without them. Saturday evening there was also a root beer garden for the middle schoolers with live music, pop and treats. Stacy Kilstofte did a great job of coordinating the event.
Sunday morning also provided us with beautiful weather for the pancake fundraising breakfast and an outdoor church service that was held in the Bandshell in the park. Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp provided the ministry and the beautiful music and we are grateful for their service. Later in the day the popular Hovick Petting Zoo was open, laser tag and amusement rides continued and the first ever Scandinavian Days spelling bee was held by Stacy Kilstofte. The winners were awarded trophies for their best efforts.
The tram that shuttles people from downtown to the park returned again this year. We would like to thank the Hermanson Family for providing the tram, John and Karen Gookin and Gookin Ford for loaning us the trucks to pull the tram and Brenda and Michael Lykins, Keith Lukens, Pua Kailiawa and Chuck McGrane for donating their time to drive. We can’t forget to thank the information booth volunteers Shanon and Dylan McKinley, Pete and Elaine Tekippe, Charles Tanksley, Valaree Muhlenburg, Steve and Mary Peterson, Cheri, Shelby, Craig and Madison Hennager, and Lana and Terry Ragaller. Please forgive us if we have forgotten to name you, we truly valued everyone’s contribution to this fantastic weekend.
This year’s celebration would not have been possible without all of the volunteers, business and individual donors and without the city of Story City supporting the celebration. We are very grateful to live in this community!
Mange tusen takk,
Diana Keech and Sherri Keigan