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Scandinavian Midsummer Festival 2018

Wife Carrying Contest

Metro Vancouver’s Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is a Northern European cultural event at Burnaby‘s Scandinavian Community Centre on June 22-24, 2018.

Vancouver Scandinavian Festival

The festival includes a Viking Village with characters in period costume, a marketplace with vendors selling all kinds of Nordic foods and goods, and live entertainment including folk dancing. The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is also the only place in the entire Lower Mainland where you can enter a wife carrying contest (which takes place on the Sunday).




Where, When and How Much

In 2018 the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival takes place in Burnaby on the Saturday and Sunday of June 23-24 at the Scandinavian Community Centre at 6540 Thomas Street, which is located one block west of Burnaby Lake just off Kensington Avenue. Also, on the Friday of June 22, there is the Midsummer Night Bash Ember Skies event starting at 8 pm.

The “Family Festival” runs from 10 am to 6 pm on the Saturday and from 10 am to 4 pm on the Sunday.

Admission to the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival each year is about $10 for the day but free for children ages 15 and under. Parking is free as available.

Viking Costume Opportunity

About the Scandinavian Festival

The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival has been celebrating and showcasing Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish cultures for over 20 years. It features market kiosks, craft vendors, Scandinavian dances and music, Northern European foods and a beer garden.

For children there is dancing around the May Pole, sword fighting and Viking raids to participate in, as well as storytelling and an “Amazing Nordic Race Passport” to get stamped at different countries.

Also at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival there is an “authentic” Viking Village where visitors can learn about Viking history and culture. In the village there are people wearing period costume, weaving and blacksmithing demonstrations, and various Viking games.

Most of the festival activities take place both days, although the post “Family Festival” evening dance and bonfire is only on the Saturday evening and the Finnish wife carrying contest only on the Sunday.

Father's Day in Vancouver

Food at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival includes barbecued salmon, Danish sandwiches, hot dogs, Swedish meatballs (of course) and pastries.

Live entertainment at the festival features all kinds of Scandinavian dancing and musical groups, as well as the occasional non-Scandinavian performance, like that of a dynamic Japanese drumming group.

TIP: The wife carrying races are fun to watch but aren’t recommended for everyone. Carry your wife at your own risk (or your husband)!

Wife Carrying at Scandanavian Festival
The Wife Carrying Contest

See the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival website for further details.

For other kinds of events at other times of the year, see Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar.