Thorsby’s Swedish Fest on verge of going national

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The group that organizes Thorsby’s Swedish Fest wants to put more Swedish tradition into the annual event. They are hoping the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce can help them do just that.

The South Central U.S. division of the SACC, based in Madison, Miss., took notice of the Swedish Fest when the organization’s chairman saw an event listing and made contact with the town.

“They are telling us that they could help us bring actual Swedish content to our festival and get us national recognition,” said coordinator Tracia Bussey. “It’s a connection that I feel is going to be extremely helpful for us.”

The SACC chairman, Steve Vassallo, is arranging a visit to Thorsby this September to meet with the Swedish Fest Committee and assess their needs. The chamber has also invited Bussey to join their board.

Bussey says it may just be the kind of help the town has been looking for in making the Swedish Festival a bit more Swedish.

She also hopes to obtain grant money through the Swedish Council of America, an organization the town joined about five years ago.

“They do have some grant money available, and we are hoping at some point we can match a grant request with what they have available,” Bussey said.

This year’ Swedish Fest will be Saturday, Oct. 18 beginning with the parade at 9 a.m. followed by opening ceremonies in Richard Wood Park at 10.

An open house is planned for the historic Thorsby Elementary School on the same day of the Fest. Most of the funds raised by this year’s Swedish Fest will go toward the school restoration project.

“Our event is one of the few festivals that operates to gain profit for the town, while most are an expense to the town that hosts them,” Bussey noted.

Booth registration forms are available at Town Hall for anyone who is interested. For more information call 646-3575.

Also, the Swedish Fest Beauty Pageant is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Thorsby High School auditorium. Individuals who are interested in the pageant are asked to call Daisies Florist at 646-3229.