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Swedish Fest crowds shiver

By Scott Mims

Attendance was slightly down at Saturday’s Thorsby Swedish Fest due to colder weather, but crowds still easily topped the 2,000 mark.
Seventy-seven booths lined Richard Wood Park at the 22nd annual Fest, and Birmingham rockers Cuttin’ Loose entertained the crowd with classics like “Spooky” and their finale, “Sweet Home Alabama.”
“The weather definitely affected the attendance, especially people with children,” said event chairwoman Tracia Bussey. “It was just uncomfortable, but we still had a great crowd, and most people were just amazed that there was still such a big crowd in spite of the weather.”
Several Swedes who make their home in Alabama made their way to Thorsby for the first time Saturday and indicated they would mark their calendars for next year’s Fest.
There was also quite an interest in the town’s historical museum at Helen Jenkins Chapel, Bussey added.
“They’re always looking for something that connects to their Swedish heritage,” she said.
Fundraising totals were not tallied by Monday, but Bussey said that some events, such as the Miss Swedish Fest Pageant, appeared to take in more money than last year. All proceeds go toward town projects, such as the fencing at Richard Wood Park.