Sunday, June 22, 2008

Scandinavian Festival

Nine years ago we went on an Elderhostel trip to Sweden. Almost everyone on the trip had ancestors born in Sweden; many were first generation Americans. One man had grown up in a Swedish-American community where all of the students in his school had Swedish parents. He played basketball and when the coach wanted to criticize the players he would shout "you dumb Swedes." That statement took on a whole new meaning this weekend.

The Astoria Scandinavian Festival was held June 20-22 at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. When we first heard about the festival, we were excited, since we both have Swedish ancestors. And we were even more excited when we read about the Troll Stroll, a running event. Since we run three miles, three times a week, we wanted to take part. When we checked out the website, we found registration for the run was to be received by June 6 to guarantee you received a T-shirt. Others were to register on Saturday before the event between 7 and 8 am. The run began at 8:30 am.

Since we hadn't registered in advance, we arrived at 7 am., the first people to show up. We were told they were getting set up. As more people arrived, we learned that the husband of the woman in charge of registration was a dairy farmer and he had been kicked in the face by a cow and they had spent much of the night at the emergency room. How sad. That must be tough.

When she did show up, a little after 8 am, about 15 people were waiting to register. No one asked who had arrived first. Two or three lines formed. There was only a limited number of T-shirts available for late registrants. We ended up in the wrong line. The last small and medium T-shirts had been handed out by the time we reached the table. We paid $20 each for a button and the "privilege" of running in the Troll Stroll with about 40 people. No T-shirt, just an expensive button. Like I said a new meaning to "Dumb Swedes." We don't know, however, if her ancestors came from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland or Iceland. The phrase should be "Dumb Scandinavian."

We finished our 3-mile run through pretty farm country, shopped some great Scandinavian booths, and then enjoyed a very good Scandinavian breakfast. I have never posted a photo of what we had to eat before, but since it was the highpoint of the day, I thought I would show it.

Beware of small, amateur races!

No comments:

Post a Comment