Town celebrates Swedish heritage

Published 10:14 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

This float featured a Men In Black theme at the Thorsby Swedish Fest Parade Saturday.

The Thorsby skies were as blue as the Swedish flag on Saturday — perfect weather that made for a top-notch Swedish Festival.

This year’s event kicked off with the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” to the town in observance of the 110th anniversary of the founding of Thorsby.

Swedish Festival Committee chairwoman Tracia Bussey said that a record 90-plus booths were set up in Richard Wood Memorial Park — an indication that the event is still going strong.

“It’s exciting,” she said.

Attendance was difficult to estimate, Bussey said, because the festival was spread out across town. Her best guess was between 3,000 and 4,000 attendees. Among them were Ola and Berti Myrvold, residents of Torsby, Sweden; Thorsby’s sister town in the Scandinavian country. Bussey said the couple, who are actually Norwegian, were impressed with the number of young people who attended the festival. Word is that they plan to return next year.

“There were quite a few Swedish guests from Alabama,” Bussey added.

Classic cars line up for the annual car show at the Swedish Fest.

Swedish Fest T-shirts sold out, and copies of a book published last year with historical articles and pictures continued to sell well. The book is still available at Thorsby Town Hall and other locations around town for $10.

Winners of competitions held at the fest were named as follows:

Best-decorated float winners

•First place — Thorsby Mite cheerleaders

•Second place — 4-H Club

•Third place — Thorsby Minor football team

Swedish Fest Car Show winners:

•Best of Show — Jimmy Cummings, 1964 Pontiac GTO

•Top Car — Edward Cornell, 1972 VW Beetle

•Top Truck — Charles Hilyer, 1969 Ford F100

•Top Motorcycle — Dennis Sammons, 1952 Harley Davidson

•Top Car ’99 and up — Jimmy Cummings, 2005 Corvette

•Top Truck ’99 and up — Nicole Hilyer, 2005 Jeep Wrangler

•Top GM — Dirk Lowery, 1968 Chevy Truck

•Top Ford — Dianne Bean, 1968 Mustang

•Top Mopar — Charles Griffin, 1970 Dodge Dart

Best-decorated town storefront winners:

•First place — Hair Design on Main

•Second place — Marcus Insurance/The Money Mart

•Third place — Dari Delite