These are my favorite events in the LA area that highlight Norwegian or Scandinavian culture. At almost all, children’s activities and delicious food are present so they make great family excursions.
* Special Note for October 2018: The month of October 2018 has a few special events to offer Scandinavian enthusiasts. For details, visit October 2018 Los Angeles Culture Challenge & Scandinavian Events.
Scandinavian Film Festival LA, Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills
This is a yearly showcase of films from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland and their Baltic neighbors. It screens not only current films submitted by Nordic countries to the Academy for consideration in the “Best Foreign Language Film” category, but also other Nordic feature films, short movies, and documentaries. Dates for 2019 have yet to be announced. For a look at the 2018 selections, check out Scandinavian Film Festival LA 2018: A Preview.
Scandinavian Festival, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
The Scandinavian Festival is a two-day festival full of games and crafts for children, a Viking Encampment and Sami Village, a food court, live music and dancing, shopping, lectures, and demonstrations of food, arts, and crafts. The 44th annual festival will take place the weekend of April 6 & 7, 2019. Read more about what to expect at Southern California’s Annual Scandinavian Festival Returns.
17th of May Celebration at Norwegian Seamen’s Church, San Pedro
This is a true Norwegian 17th of May celebration that happens on May 17 at the church. There’s a parade around the neighborhood, traditional Norwegian food (pølser, rundstykker, brus, bløtkaker, marsipankaker, og kaffe), songs and speeches, and of course, games and ice cream for the kids.
Norwegian Constitution Day Parade and Festivities at Nansen Field, Rolling Hills Estates
This celebration is usually held the Sunday closest to May 17. It includes a parade around the soccer field; foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Solo, and ice cream for sale; stalls with Norwegian goods; and games for the kids. Read about my latest visit to the Nansen Field festivities here.
Norwegian Christmas Fair at Norwegian Seamen’s Church, San Pedro
The third weekend in November is always the Norwegian Christmas Fair, or Julebasar, at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church. This year’s dates are Friday, November 16, – Sunday, November 18, 2018. Christmas decorations, music, candles, and the smell of freshly baked goods set the mood as you wander the booths filled with Scandinavian goods of all kinds. There are raffle drawings with wonderful prizes, traditional foods served in the church’s cafe, and baked goods for sale in the church’s bakery. Read about my latest visit to the Christmas Fair here.
SWEA Christmas Fair, Torrance
The annual SWEA Christmas Fair returns on Sunday, December 2, 2018, to the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. Highlights of the fair include a Lucia pageant; folk dancing; traditional holiday foods and baked goods; gløgg bar; Scandinavian gifts, books, and music; handmade crafts; children’s activities and games; and Café SWEA with baked goods. Kids might even catch a glimpse of Santa.
Christmas Festivities at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, San Pedro
During Christmas time, the Norwegian Church hosts many events to help celebrate the season. Highlights include a Christmas luncheon in the beginning of the month, special Advent services, Christmas Eve Service followed by a Christmas dinner, Christmas Day Service, and finally a Christmas Tree Party to wrap it all up.
Are you familiar with any other events in the Los Angeles area that highlight Norwegian or Scandinavian culture? Please let me know so I can check it out. Thank you!