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Burnaby’s Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

Scandanavian Midsummer Festival

Metro Vancouver’s Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is a Northern European cultural event at Burnaby‘s Scandinavian Community Centre.

Dates for the 2023 festival are June 24th and 25th.


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 usually takes place on the Sunday).


Where, When and How Much

The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival takes place at the Scandinavian Community Centre at 6540 Thomas Street which is about a block or so west of Burnaby Lake just off Kensington Avenue.

In 2023 the festival happens on the Saturday and Sunday of June 24th and 25th. Last year things ran from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm on the Saturday and from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the Sunday. 2023 hours will likely be the same, although exact details are to be confirmed.

Admission to the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival last year was about $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children ages 15 and under entered for free. Parking was free when available. Ticket prices for the 2023 festival are to be confirmed.

Like many other events in recent years, because of the COVID-19, the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival didn’t take place in 2020 or 2021. The event did happen, however, on June 25th and 26th in 2022.


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 bonfire and traditional singalong are only on the Saturday evening and the Finnish wife-carrying contest only on the Sunday.


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Food at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival typically 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 the Royal City Concert Band in some years.

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


Wife Carrying at Scandanavian Festival
The Wife-Carrying Contest


Festival Schedule

Below was the schedule of events at the 2022 festival for the Main Stage and Field. Unfortunately, the Midsummer Lottery Draw and the Paavo Nurmi Run were both cancelled. 2023 details will likely be comparable.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

  • 10:00 am – Festival Gates Open
  • 11:00 am – Dorfmusik
  • 12:30 pm – Flag and anthem ceremony
  • 1:00 pm – Midsummer Traditions (parade and dancing)
  • 2:00 pm – Midsummer Choir
  • 2:30 pm – Hobby Horse Steeplechase
  • 3.00 pm – Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira
  • 4:00 pm – Midsummer Spelmanslag & Dancers
  • 5:00 pm – West Coast Charisma
  • 6:00 pm – Catherine Toren & Friends
  • 7:00 pm – Bonfire and singalong (in the Beer Garden)
  • 8:00 pm – The Beagles (in the Beer Garden)


Sunday, June 26, 2022

  • 10:00 am – Midsummer Pancake Breakfast
  • 11:00 am – Capilano Brass Ensemble
  • 12:00 pm – Fluterrific
  • 1:00 pm – Louis Riel
  • 2:00 pm – West Vancouver Concert Band
  • 3:00 pm – Wife-carrying Contest
  • 3:30 pm – Midsummer Traditions and Spelmanslag


Other Information

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.

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