Swedish in Cleveland

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News and Upcoming Events for Swedish in Cleveland

Ohio Norsemen Julefest

Ohio Norsemen Julefest on Sunday December 2 from 3:30 - 6:30 pm at Perk-Cop Cafe and Grill at 561 West Bagley, Berea. We hope you will be able to attend Ohio Norsemen 2018 Julefest this year. There will be an excellent menu, music, voluntary gift exchange and high spirit.

Swedish Lucia Program

Swedish Lucia Program on Saturday December 8 at 4 PM at Church of the Saviour at 2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights.

The Swedish Vasa community invites you to experience a Swedish Lucia celebration on Saturday, December 8, at 4 p.m. at Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Use the southern entrance in the rear parking lot to the Great Hall. The program begins with a winter concert of the Vasa Voices, directed by Judith Higbee, singing traditional winter and folk songs in Swedish. Following the vocal concert, the Lucia procession takes place. Lucia and her attendants processing and singing traditional songs. Come to hear one of the traditional stories of Lucia, a young girl wearing candles in her hair, who brought light and food to the hungry. Lucia is both a tradition in Italy and Sweden.

Following the program dessert and beverages will be served. Cost is $5.00. For further information, contact Marty Bergman,, or call at 216-371-5141.

Danish Christmas Party

Danish Christmas Party on Sunday December 9 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Tom' Country Place at 3443 Stoney Ridge Rd., Avon. The Danish Christmas Party is hosted by Danish Sisterhood. Adults & Children 13 and over - $28, Children 12 and under - Free

Santa will make a special appearance and bring goodie bags for the children. 2:00 p.m. Tree Decorating. 2:30 p.m. Singing Around the Christmas Tree. 3:00 p.m. Danish Folk Dancing. 3:30 p.m. Santa Arrives. 4:30 p.m. Dinner Buffet w/Danish Cookies. Followed by raffle

Questions:216-297-1357 or

Christmas Day Swedish Julotta Service

Christmas Day Swedish Julotta Service on December 25 at 6:30 AM at Peace Lutheran Church at 3740 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland Heights.

The Swedish Vasa community invites you to the Christmas Day Swedish Julotta Service at 6:30 a.m. on December 25! The service is held at Peace Lutheran Church, 3740 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland Heights. A light breakfast will be served afterwards. For further information, contact Marty Bergman,, or call at 216-371-5141.

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Out & About - Photos and Event Recaps


Leif Erikson Day 2018

The Scandinavian community of Cleveland, including those from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland gathered at the bust of Leif Erikson in front of Shooters in Cleveland's Flats to celebrate Leif Erikson Day.

Posing for photos with the Leif Erikson bust

Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer regarded as the first European to land in North America (excluding Greenland), nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

Catherine Jorgensen McCutcheon modeled a tradional Norwegian costume or bunad as she led the toast

Catherine Jorgensen McCutcheon

See photos and a video of the 2018 Leif Erikson Day in Cleveland


Lucia Fest

The Nobel-Monitor Lodge #130 Vasa Order of America hosted their annual Christmas and Lucia Fest on December 6, 2015. Highlights included the songs by the Vasa Voices Choir and the Lucia procession and songs by the children.

Santa Lucia procession

Lucia Procession

Santa Lucia Procession and Songs

Vasa Voices Choir of Nobel-Monitor Lodge #130 Vasa Order of America

The Vasa Voices Choir of Nobel-Monitor Lodge #130 Vasa Order of America performed at the 2015 Christmas and Lucia Fest in Highland Heights (Cleveland) Ohio.

Vasa Voices Choir

Vasa Voices Choir

Vasa Voices Choir

Oktoberfest in Scandinavia

The Octoberfest events in Scandinavia are very popular, and not only among local beer lovers! A Scandinavian Octoberfest is a great celebration when the warm weather diminishes in fall. Despite the name "Oktoberfest", most Oktoberfest events start in September.

Oktoberfest in Scandinavia


Easter in Scandinavia

Quite a peculiar national tradition in Norway is solving crimes during Easter. Publishers churn out series of books known as "Easter Thrillers" or "Påskekrimmen". Even the milk cartons change during the Easter season to have murder stories on their sides!

"Pääsiäinen" in Finland is celebrated with Easter egg hunts for the children. The hard boiled, chocolate, or candy eggs are hidden in the house or garden. Children also walk between houses, handing out twigs or decorations in exchange for a few coins.

In Denmark, there is a unique "Påske" tradition of sending teaser letters with little poems anonymously on Valentine's Day. If the recipient guesses who sent the poem, he or she receives the reward of an Easter egg.

In Sweden, children dress up as Easter witches with long skirts, colorful headscarves, and painted red cheeks. They go to neighboring houses presenting drawings in hopes of getting sweets in return. Folklore says the witches fly to "Blåkulla" (Blue Mountain) to meet the devil.

Another "Påsk" tradition is to place feathers on small branches of willow or birch in a vase.

By Karen Chilcote


2012 Leif Ericson Day celebration in Cleveland

Bengt Gerborg with Viking Hat in front of bust of Leif Ericson

Bengt Gerborg with Leif Ericson bust


Santa Lucia 2010
Forest Hills Presbyterian Church - December 11, 2010

Swedish Girls in Santa Lucia costumes

The Nobel-Monitor Lodge of the Swedish Vasa
Photos from the 100 year anniversary

Marty Bergman and Karen Arvidson Chilcote with 100 Year Anniversary cakes

Marty Bergman and Karen Arvidson Chilcote
with 100 Year Anniversary cakes

Santa Lucia Celebration 2007
Photos and Video from the Forest Hills Presbyterian Church

Organizations and Resources for Swedish in Cleveland

Submit your Cleveland Swedish organizations and resources.

Business, Education and Employment Information

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Cleveland Swedish Feedback and Memories

Submit your Cleveland Swedish Feedback and Memories.

Swedish History and Culture

Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Swedes so special.

Swedish girls in Santa Lucia Celebration

Santa Lucia Celebration

History and Culture of Sweden

Julbocken - Swedish Christmas Goat

Darlene Nelson with a Julbocken

Darlene Nelson with a Julbocken

Swedish Pepperkakar Cookies
Delicious recipe from Cleo Love

A military power during the 17th century, Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. An armed neutrality was preserved in both World Wars.

Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries.

Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but the public rejected the introduction of the euro in a 2003 referendum.

(facts courtesy of CIA World Fact Book)

Submit your Cleveland Swedish cultural items.

Profiles of Swedes in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio

Susan Stone Lanphear
Planting Seeds of Faith at Home and Abroad

If you know of a Cleveland Swede who should be profiled,
please let us know.
ClevelandPeople.Com - Swedish Ambassadors

Dr. Bo Carlsson
Bo Carlsson

Read more about the Swedish and other Ambassadors. If you are interested in being considered to be an official Ambassador to the Cleveland Swedish community, please contact us.

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