Iola library to host event
By Holly Neumann
The Iola Village Library will host a free Scandinavian Extravaganza at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19.
“I saw some pictures on Facebook of people doing rosemaling at the elementary school during their STEAM program,” said Lisa Bauer, who is in charge of children’s programming at the library. “I thought this would be a good fit at the library. This is just another way of promoting what is available in the area.”
Iola-Scandinavia’s elementary art teacher, Jill Willems, is helping to plan the event.
Willems, along with Jen Wandtke and Chris Aasen, did the demonstration at school.
“They asked if we could demonstrate rosemaling at the library,” said Willems. “I started thinking about the people I knew connected to other Scandinavian things that we could add to the rosemaling, and pretty soon we had the workings for a mini Scandinavian Extravaganza.”
In addition to the rosemaling, there will be Scandinavian treats like rosettes, sandbakkels, krumkake and Norwegian meatballs.
Krista Watson, of ScandiHus, will also offer Norwegian food samples from her store.
Val Olson will wear a bunad, which is a traditional Norwegian costume she wore to her wedding, and Bob Thompson will give a presentation on wood carving and the Dala Horse.
A Norwegian children’s story, written by Lillian Lovedahl, long-time resident of Iola who has since passed away, will be read by Mary Gipp.
Local author Irene Haroldson will also bring her book “Maloy Island.”
Many other Norwegian items will be shared as well.
“Iola and Scandinavia are communities rich with history in Scandinavian heritage,” said Willems. “People can get a sampling of art, food and Scandinavian culture.”
The hope is that participants will have fun and learn a little about the heritage these communities were built upon.
“They will gain an appreciation for the area,” said Bauer. “Young people don’t get involved the way they used to. They don’t see or know about the Scandinavian heritage unless their parents or grandparents have been involved. This is their opportunity.”
“People can taste something they may have never tried before,” said Willems. “They can learn about artifacts and folk arts associated with the Scandinavian countries. Maybe we can even get some people that want to learn the art of rosemaling.”