Swedish Sesquicentennial celebrates Swedish heritage

Swedish Sesquicentennial celebrates Swedish heritage


The public is invited to attend a banquet on Saturday, April 6, to kick off the 150th anniversary of the Swedish mass migration to Rockford. The Swedish Ambassador to the United States, Jan Eliasson, will be the guest of honor. The evening’s events will include an immigrant wall and a silent auction of wonderful Swedish treasures.

From now until December, numerous events will be held to honor and recognize the early Swedish pioneers who did so much in the founding and development of Rockford. Their work and talents deserve remembering. There are still 33,000 people (according to the last census) who claim their Swedish roots–the fourth highest of all cities in the United States.

Other events taking place this spring include: April 7—Swedish Concert at Trinity Lutheran Church; April 19—Reception/Opening of Immigration Exhibit at Midway Village Museum; April 27—Walpurgis (Valborgsmassoafton) Celebration at VASA Park.

The April 6 banquet will be held at Giovanni’s. The guest of honor, Jan Eliasson, became ambassador to the United States on Sept. 1, 2000. (Now that Sweden’s term as president of the European Union has ended, Eliasson is once again “only” Sweden’s ambassador to the United States.) Prior to that, he served as Sweden’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1988 to 1992. In 1992, he was appointed the first Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs of the U.N. During his diplomatic career, he has been posted in Paris, Bonn, Washington and Salisbury, Zimbabwe.

Seating for the event is limited to 500. For reservations, call the Erlander home Museum, 963-5559. Co-chairmen for the year-long event are Barb Lunde and Joyce Holmberg.

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