Going on Faith

AUG-SEP 2016

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 23 [ L I N D S B O RG , K A N S A S ] What do Handel's "Messiah," International Waffle Day and St. Lucia have in common? Lindsborg, Kansas. Located approximately 195 miles from Kansas City and 230 miles from Oklahoma City, Lindsborg — population 3,500 — is widely recognized as "Little Sweden, USA." Founded in 1869 by Swedish immigrants, Lindsborg has lovingly preserved its rich heritage and culture, making it a wonderful tour- ism destination. "Lindsborg is one of the better known tourism destinations in Kansas, and it happened purely by accident," said Holly Lofton, director of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau. "In the late 1800s, many people came here from across the country for the Messiah Festival of the Arts, arriving by the railroad that stopped here before car travel became available." Today, the 136-year-old, 10-day festival, held in conjunction with Holy Week, encompasses theater performances and visual arts experiences, and its namesake is the longest running performance of Handel's "Messiah" in North America. Group activities include tours to sites and attractions like the Höglund Dugout, an example of an early Scandinavian home built below ground. Historic structures in town include the Swedish Pavilion and the Old Roller Mills, named among the "The Eight Wonders of Kansas," the only fully restored wooden roller mill in the country. Traditional Swedish fare awaits in the walkable downtown area. The aptly named Swedish Crown Restaurant serves delicious Swedish and American dishes with an unusual twist, and the Swedish Country Inn offers a Swedish breakfast buffet. Take home a bit of Sweden, like tasty herring or Swedish meat- balls, at places like Anderson Butik. Courtyard Bakery and Gallery features authentic Swedish baked goods and pastries. And Hemslöjd — Swedish for "handicraft" — sells a variety of Scandinavian gifts, including the popular traditional Swedish Dala Horses. Annual celebrations include the St. Lucia Festival, a winter sol- stice tribute to the Italian saint who brought light and sustenance to Sweden's suffering people, and Våffeldagen (International Waffle Day) in March. Svensk Hyllningsfest, held in October in odd-num- bered years, is Lindsborg's largest festival; it is highlighted by tradi- tional dances, music and a full Swedish smorgasbord that feeds 700 people. www.lindsborgcity.org T H E S E D E S T I N AT I O N S B O A S T B R I L L I A N T E T H N I C I D E N T I T I E S By Jim Richardson By Jim Turner Lindsborg's Coronado Heights Lindsborg's Lucia Festival

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