June 21st, 2010

Viking Spongebob

Swedish Day Summary

The 99th annual Swedish Day was held on 19 June at Good Templar Park in Geneva, Illinois. Good Templar Park is the home of the 1893 Viking Ship, and Micel Folcland set up an encampment next to it. It was a great success. Although storms passed through on Friday, it was windy on Saturday and there were two rainfalls on Sunday morning, weather was fine, warm and sunny. More people than expected showed up because of the fine weather, and everyone as usual were friendly and supportive, with a lot of intelligent questions. There were several families who stopped by who were interested in getting involved; we'll see if they follow through. One asked, "Are you a family-oriented grou8p or just a bunch of beery beat-em-up fighters." When I told him we were very family-oriented, he was very happy and took contact information.

Old pals Perry and Loraine Straw and Dave Nordin were giving tours of the Viking. As author of _Whaleroad to the Wold's Fair," I received a lot of comments and compliments. One MoP had me get kitted out for some photos by the Viking. Dave--a member of Hamilton's in te NWTA--has made tentative plans to attend 24-25 July because he's interested in doing a better impression and perhaps getting involved. Friends of the Viking Ship has bought copies of the book, and I got to sign them all. They're successfully selling them. Bernie Kazwick--an old pal from NWTA--showed up later in the day. He had had trouble finding the park, but he had a great time, looking at our camp, asking questions, looking at the ship and taking a look at the Icelandic horses.

Julie set up her textile corner under her new flax linen fly, which was put up to the rope line so she could talk to MoPs in shade. She forgot head coverings, so she braided her hair and played at being a delicate young maiden about fifty years younger :) Her mini warp-weighted loom was a big hit.

Sharon showed up later in the day, taking delight in playing with some of Julie's equipment and trying to get to the wwl ) She wants me to make a full-sized version that breaks down so she can take it to events. She helped us pack up, and we had dinner together and then took off after the sun had gone down and stopped glaring in my eyes.

Everyone--even the excited kids--understood the ropelines and obeyed them as usual except for one woman who was covering it as a reporter. She snuck into the ropeline, and I backed up, nearly tripping over here. I told her to get outside the ropeline please; she replied, hoity-toity--"I'm a journalist. I can go anywhere." "No you can't," I said. opening the gate. "No one not in costume is allowed back here. It's too dangerous and gives the wrong impression." "Well then," she said as she huffed angrily off. I guess we're not getting a good write-up from her! Talking with a staff person, she had apparently been causing troubles all day. If she had asked to get a closer look at the loom--Julie offered to move it closer to the ropeline so she could get a better shot--but she sneered, "You don't have to go to that much trouble" as she stomped off.

The MoPs loved the new bad moneyer display, were fascinated by the sword and spears toys and of course wanted to take a closer look at the shield, sword and helmet. They also played a few games of Viking Tug of War and had a great time!

As we were packing up, the event organizer stopped by to profusely thank us for our presence and noted that she had received many compliments about our presence. Next year is the centennial for he event--the oldest Scandinavian festival in the States and perhaps the oldest ethnic festival of all--and she wanted to make certain we'd be back. She had a few requests for some PR to send to the papers and wanted to know if we could do any combat. I told her that we'd try, if we're safe and look good by then; we will be doing military drill next year, either with members of with kids. She wants to help any publicity so we can get new members.

Chuck Ivesdale--Sir Chuckles on Flickr--took a fair share of photos and plans to be at the 24-25 July event to take beaucoup photos. Chuck is a great photographer; bring your best togs! When he posts photos, I'll give you his web page; for now, you can see a few shots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/folo/sets/72157624321862120/