Family Shares Scandinavian Traditions

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JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — Downtown Junction City has quite a different look this weekend, as the annual Scandinavian Festival takes over the city.

Hundreds of people flocked there Thursday for the 53rd annual festival, which celebrates the Scandinavian heritage of Junction City. For one family, three generations work side by side creating sweet foods at the fair.

For the Andresens, the festival is a family affair.

“We helped start the Scandinavian Festival. We’re oldtimers. We’re 83 years old,” said Alves Andresen.

Alves and her husband Verne spend the days crocheting bobbin lace. They’ve both been active with the fair for decades.

“I feel like it’s like the focal point of our recreation. We have always participated. We used to sing and dance. It’s good for Junction City, and it’s good for people,” Alves said.

At the other end of the fair, their sons run a Swedish pancake booth.

“We always wondered why nobody sold these thin pancakes at the festival. We grew up in Junction City and thought that was a travesty not to have these,” said Glen Andresen.

Thirty-five years later, they’re still making these thin pancakes, and the family’s youngest generation is getting involved with the booth.

“Probably about five years now,” said Jake Andresen.

The family has a system for making the pancakes. Glen runs the griddle, and Jake fills the pancake with fruit.

“We use local berries, you know, we pick our own wild blackberries,” Glen said.

And Gordon collects the money from customers.

“I enjoy working with Gordon and now Jake and our brother Bruce who will be down later. It’s just a fun time,” Glen said.

And not too far away, Alves and Verne spend the fair days underneath the shade of a tree, turning embroidery floss and crotchet thread into lace snowflakes and snakes. They donate 90 percent of the money they make back to the fair they helped start.

“It’s a hobby, so it suits me,” Alves said.

The Scandinavian Festival lasts through Sunday. The whole festival and all its shows are free. The only things that costs money are food and crafts.

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