Ridgites eat up at Scandinavian Autumn Festival

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Good eats: From left, Linda Boye, Leif Koppen, and Sylvia Kristiansen chowed down on traditional Nordic food.
Luck of the draw: Gina Ortiz entered a raffle at the Scandinavian Autumn Festival on Saturday.
Music man: Deejay Sean Lafleur spun a mixtape of Scandinavian music at the event.
Stick it: Guests played a rousing game of “pin the tail on the moose” during the festivities.
Good aim: Elizabeth Theofan took aim with a bow and arrow during a hunting game.

It was a taste of Nordic traditions!

Ridgites hungry for culture headed to a Fourth Avenue house of worship on Saturday for the Scandinavian Autumn Festival, where they noshed on native cuisine including herring, Swedish meatballs, and Norwegian apple cobbler that an attendee with roots in the region said was a highlight of the first-ever event.

“Everything was delicious,” said Linda Boye, whose mother is Swedish. “It brought back good memories.”

The festival incorporated cultural traditions with activities including an indoor-safe archery competition and a rousing game of “pin the tail on the moose,” which celebrated the current moose-hunting season in Norway. And organizers took cues from similar but larger-scale events happening around the world in preparing its cuisine, including the Baltic Herring Market in Finland and the Kivik Apple Market Festival in Sweden.

A local deejay spun a mix of Scandinavian tunes as a soundtrack for the celebration, which he said went off without a hitch.

“It was really good for the first year,” said Sean Lafleur.

Proceeds from the festival benefited the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, an online organization that a Ridgite started in 1996 to promote the region’s culture. The institution’s founder, who said she now hopes to host the fest annually, also cheered the inaugural event’s success.

“It was really fun,” said Victoria Hofmo. “We had a lot of laughs.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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