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Lindsborg, KS: Little Sweden, USA

Lindsborg, Kansas, often referred to as “Little Sweden, USA,” was settled by Swedish immigrants in the 1860s. One hundred fifty years later, Swedish traditions abound in daily life. Lindsborg and its beautiful downtown – lined with small retail shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and galleries – are enjoyed by visitors from throughout the world.

Nestled in the Smoky Valley, Lindsborg is world-renowned for its Swedish heritage and love of the arts. Locals and visitors love celebrating Swedish traditions year-round, including St. Lucia, Midsummer (Midsommar), King Knut’s Day, and even Våffeldagen!

Lindsborg’s largest festival, Svensk Hyllningsfest, held every two years (in odd-numbered years), is a celebration of the town’s Swedish heritage. The festival is highlighted by folk dancing performances by all the town’s school-age children, and features a parade and many exhibits, booths, and performances.

Lindsborg proudly celebrates the arts, as well. Lindsborg is home to the Bethany College Oratorio’s Messiah Festival of the Arts. The highlight of the weeklong festival is a performance of Handel’s Messiah. This masterpiece has been presented in Lindsborg by a large community chorus and orchestra annually since 1882. Readers’ Digest magazine in the 1940s called this tradition in Lindsborg “The Oberammergau of the Plains.” Other art-related events can be found year-round.

Lindsborg has been recognized as one of America’s best small towns in publications and on websites. Lively and livable, it enjoys sharing its Swedish immigrant and Great Plains heritage. We have nearly 150 years of distinction in agriculture, higher education, and the visual and performing arts.

Lindsborg is the proud home of Bethany College and the Bethany Swedes. Bethany College is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that welcomes diversity of religious thought among its faculty and student body. Swedish-Lutheran settlers worked with the Rev. Dr. Carl A. Swensson, Bethany’s founder, to establish Bethany Academy on October 15, 1881, in the sacristy of Bethany Lutheran Church.

Combining all of this with its walkable and bike-able scale, Lindsborg is a great place to visit and to live. Retirees, working individuals and families, and even young makers, have a place here – where Lindsborg is a crossroad for the fine arts, crafts, and the spirit of continued learning. Lindsborg feels larger than its 3,500 residents — and yet small enough to make your very own. Come join in.

Celebrate Våffeldagen with us on Saturday, March 21, 2020! Enjoy waffles and festivities throughout downtown and come join us at our gift shop at 201 North Main Street. We’d love to hear from you! Watch our blog for information about the upcoming Messiah Festival and more.

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