Ingrid – June 25, 2019

On perhaps the only sunny day last week here in Chicago, The Danish Home’s Summerfest on June 22nd was everything I’d hoped it would be. While sunshine and warmth are expected in late June, the spring and early summer of 2019 have been anything but typical, with temperatures rarely getting above 70 and rain, rain, and more rain.

People sit outside eating at picnic tables on a sunny lawn.

Summerfest 2019 fell on a beautiful, sunny Saturday after a week of rain.

So, waking up to the sun and a good weather report on Saturday was the best possible start. When Lindsay and I arrived at The Danish Home around 1:30, we looked for Farfar in his apartment, but someone told us he was already outside on the lawn. Sure enough, there he was with a Carlsberg and several friends gathered around him. It was a heartwarming sight.

In fact, the whole of Summerfest could be defined in one word: “hygge.” Hundreds of children, teens, adults and seniors were all having fun together, soaking up the sun and enjoying the annual festival’s many activities. It was like one big happy family reunion in the backyard of a beautiful home. In fact, that’s exactly what it was!

And check out this picture (below) of a man and his daughter who, 30 years ago, were photographed at Summerfest and appeared in the Edison-Norwood Times Review. He’s holding the paper with the photo of him holding his daughter, and here they are back at Summerfest with his daughter holding her son. Talk about generations of ties to The Danish Home!

An older man and a woman with a child in her arms pose at an outdoor festival.

30 years ago, this man took his daughter (middle) to Summerfest and was featured in the Edison-Norwood Times Review. The father-daughter duo returned to Summerfest this year, paper in hand. This time, his daughter is holding her own son.

For kids, there were games, face painting (wow, the intricate designs!), a clown and balloon art, bouncy houses, and a Lego table. Adults enjoyed raffles, a silent auction, Lucky Buckets, Treasure Chest, beer and wine, and a jewelry booth, where I bought a vintage Christmas pin very similar to the one my Mormor wore.

For everyone, there was delicious American and Danish food, including smørrebrød and frikadellers, homemade Danish baked goods, ice cream, a fun photo booth, and vintage western swing from a very talented group of musicians called The Westerlees.

No recap of Summerfest would be complete without a nod to The Danish Home staff and the many dedicated volunteers and members of the Women’s Auxiliary who made it all possible. It’s so inspiring to know the auxiliary is over 200 members strong. That’s an amazing testament to the love so many have for The Danish Home. Farfar keeps telling me I should join the Women’s Auxiliary. I think I’ll take his advice some day!

Big thanks, too, to all who made donations to The Danish Home. Your support is needed and very appreciated!

After this weekend I’m even more excited for The Danish Home’s annual benefit on September 21, this year featuring Grammy-award winning Danish violinist Mads Tolling and renowned jazz guitarist Jacob Fischer.

A group of musicians play outside on a stage with a Danish flag in the background.

The Westerlees entertained Summerfest visitors with vintage western swing.