Preparations being made for 2011 Swedish Festival

Published 1:54 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Written by Tracia Bussey / Community Columnist

The 2010 Swedish Fest Queens gathered at Helen Jenkins Chapel in Thorsby on Sunday, Aug. 28, to show off the new 2011 Thorsby Swedish Fest T-shirts, which are now available at the Thorsby Town Hall for $10 each.

This year’s shirt displays Thorsby’s Coat of Arms on the front. This Coat of Arms was designed by Thomas Faulk, a Swedish Heraldist in Sweden, who gave the design to the town as a gift in 2009. The back of the shirt shows a variety of landmarks in and around Thorsby, such as the Thorson House on Jones Street, the Kirkabee House on Franklin Street, Dora Thorson’s grave in the Scandinavian Cemetery, the historical monument in the Scandinavian flag court, the “Welcome To Thorsby” sign on the south end of town and the old Norwegian Lutheran Church, now known as Helen Jenkins Chapel on Concordia Street. In the center are the four Scandinavian flags that represent the unique heritage of the town.

Shown are Thorsby Swedish Fest Queens, front row (L-R) Tiny Miss Swedish Fest, Kalyn Smith; Tiniest Miss, Lexie Deavers; and Little Miss, Hope Knight. Back row (L-R) Junior Miss, Catherine Rowe, Miss, Candace Pierce; and Young Miss, Hannah Tierce.

The theme for this year’s festival is the 110th birthday of Thorsby since its incorporation in 1901. The Thorsby Swedish Fest is set for Oct. 15 and will include a parade, arts, crafts and food vendors, entertainment, attractions, an open museum and car show. A beauty pageant will be held on two nights at the Thorsby High School auditorium, Oct. 10 and 11.

The Thorsby Swedish Fest began in 1988 as a way to commemorate the town’s heritage and raise the money needed for Thorsby High School to begin a band program. The festival accomplished that goal and has continued to be a fundraiser that benefits town projects. It is the only Swedish Festival in the state of Alabama as far as we know and attracts large crowds each year, including a growing number of Swedes and other Scandinavians. For more information, including booth registration and beauty pageant forms, visit

Tracia Bussey is The Clanton Advertiser’s new community columnist for Thorsby. She can be reached by email at We are also looking for columnists in other communities, if you know someone who is interested, please contact Managing Editor Justin Averette at