Festival Celebrates 375th Anniversary Of New Sweden Colony

GERRY – The Scandinavian Folk Festival will celebrate the 375th anniversary of the New Sweden Colony.

In 1638, Sweden established a colony in what is now the state of Delaware. Two ships, the Kalmar Nyckel and the Fogel Grip, landed at the Christiana River and began building a settlement. The details of this historic event will be presented by the Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams, historian and author.

Even though the New Sweden colony was brief, numerous descendants of these colonists have since distinguished themselves in American history. Among them is Williams, who presently serves as the archivist at the Lutheran Archives Center, is an instructor in the University of Pennsylvania Swedish Language program and is curator at the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia. Williams was awarded the Polar Star for his exemplary achievements in 2008 by King Karl XVI Gustav.

The author of several books and many articles, he will be speaking from his latest book, “New Sweden on the Delaware” (2013), written for the anniversary. A limited edition, this book features 50 locations with 245 full-color photographs. Copies of Williams’ book will be available.

The Scandinavian Folk Festival will be held July 19-21 at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds. See www.scandinavianjamestown.org or call 665-0883 for details.