Center features local youth dance group

Peer Gynt Dancers perform May 18 as part of Norwegian Historical Exhibit

A youth dance group that includes many Stillwater-area members and rehearses at a local church will participate in a Landmark Center day of children’s programs May 18, including a troll storyteller and children’s crafts, as part of an ongoing Norwegian Immigration exhibit.

The Peer Gynt Dancers, a junior group of the St. Paul Sons of Norway under the leadership of Susan Stow, will perform at the center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 18. The activities are a part of a museum exhibit, “New Land, New Life: Norwegian Immigration to Minnesota, 1825-1925” which continues through June 20.

The Peer Gynt Dancers rehearse at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Stillwater and regularly appear in area parades such as Winter Carnival Grand Day in St. Paul and perform traditional Norwegian folk dances. Last year, the group traveled to Stoughton, Wis., where they participated in the renowned Syttende Mai Festivities (Norwegian Independence Day, May 17). Colorful costumes, lively music and smiling faces capture the spirit of Scandinavia in their performances.

The Norwegian Immigration to Minnesota historical exhibit has been researched and developed by the St. Paul Sons of Norway, Synnove-Nordkap Lodge.  The text and photographs make up a 20-panel exhibit with a general topic featured on each. It opened in February and continues through June 20 in the Ramsey County Historical Society north gallery on the Landmark Center’s main floor. The center is on Fifth and Washington in downtown St. Paul.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The project is underwritten by grants from the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Fund and the Sons of Norway Foundation.

The exhibit culminates two year’s work by the St. Paul Sons of Norway lodge volunteers. It includes artifact displays, programs and events including cultural skills demonstrations, performances, talks and a film.

After its scheduled time at the Landmark in St. Paul, the Norwegian Immigration exhibit will travel to select county museums and Sons of Norway venues in greater Minnesota. The exhibit will be open daily during regular business hours of the Ramsey County Historical Society.