Northern Door County’s first festival of the season: Ephraim’s 45th Annual Fyr Bal Festival June 19-21, 2009

From the Ephraim Business Council’s Press Release:

Ephraim celebrates its 45th Annual Fyr Bal Festival June 19-21, 2009. Steeped in Scandinavian tradition, Fyr Bal, pronounced fear ball, is Norwegian for bonfire. The festival re-creates customs of early Norwegians celebrating Midsummer’s Eve. Evening bonfires on Saturday represent the burning of the ‘winter witch’ and welcome in the long days of summer. The weekend is fun for the entire family along the shoreline of Eagle Harbor.

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Treat your ears to an eclectic music lineup at Harborside Park on Saturday: first, the acoustic sounds of D’Arez & Friends, and then pat mAcdonald and melaniejane of Steel Bridget Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, WI. The duo teams up to create a sound rich in low-end, heavy in groove.

Saturday boasts the majority of Fyr Bal festivities. Music begins at 9am with MC and acoustic musician Tim Byers. Byers will keep crowds up-to-date on activities throughout the day. The Ephraim Library invites you to peruse the myriad of hidden treasures at their annual Used Book Sale. Along the shoreline, over 25 artisans from throughout the state will display their craft at the annual Fyr Bal Arts & Crafts show. Showcasing works in wood, clay, glass, jewelry and fiber textiles. Be sure to visit the Summerwind Alpacas and Iron Wood Croft Llamas at the Ephraim Visitor Information Center, where you can pet the animals and even purchase wool.

Young fiddlers, under the direction of Christine Whyatt, will treat festival-goers to traditional Scandinavian music Saturday and Sunday. Whyatt and her husband Nelson, who will accompany the group on accordion, are originally from Minnesota, where she taught music for over 30 years. Whyatt is happy to have a dozen former students and their families make the trip to Door County for Fyr Bal Festival weekend. In 2005 many members of the group traveled to Dalarna County in Sweden, the center of traditional folk music and craft in that country, to play at one of the largest midsummer festivals. They are a delight to watch in their authentic Scandinavian costume.

Don’t miss Ephraim’s traditional Scandinavian blowout!