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Lucia Festivity of Light pageant returns Saturday

STRATFORD – On Saturday, the Swedish Foundation of Iowa’s Swede Bend Settlement Inc. will be hosting its annual Lucia Festivity of Light pageant at the Stratford Lutheran Church. The pageant is still seeking Lucia candidates, Lucia Maidens, Star Boys, and Tomte (elfin boys). Traditionally, all over Scandinavia, and especially in Sweden and Swedish settlements around the world, a Lucia pageant is held every December to select a young woman to represent St. Lucia, a martyr, who is known for her charitable spirit and sacrifice to serve those in need.

On Dec. 13, Saint Lucia Day, the selected Lucia will make her rounds in her community serving coffee and saffron buns to ring in the Norse New Year, as it was traditionally practiced that Dec. 12 was the calendar date with the longest night, and the next day was filled with more light.

This year, The Swedish Foundation is seeking women 60 and older to represent Lucia, and children 3 through 15 years of age to participate in other roles. All costumes are provided by the Foundation. All Lucia candidates must provide a brief family history including their Swedish ancestry. If you do not have Swedish ancestry from the Swede Bend area that includes, Pilot Mound, Dayton, Burnside, Harcourt, Gowrie, Stanhope, Stratford (city and rural), and Swede Town (in Fort Dodge), do not shy away from participating as all Swede Americans (and real Swedes) will be accepted as long as they are living in the Greater Swede Bend Area (Boone, Hamilton and Webster counties). Children participating need not have Swedish ancestry. Call Carol Larson if you would like to participate, (515)838-2440.

The afternoon starts at 1:30 p.m. with a Swedish Carols Sing-a-long, then at 2 p.m. Swedish Holiday Traditions, Lucia’s Story, and the crowning of Lucia 2015, with a reception that follows.

Free will donations will be accepted for the Swedish Immigrant Museum.

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