2001 Sju Lag Stevne

… was held in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Rapid City Stevne 2001
by Earl Knutson

The 2001 stevne (Norwegian for “meeting”) has come to a close. The stevne is the annual event where Sigdalslag joins with six other lags (thus “sju”, or seven) to celebrate the Norwegian part of our heritage. This year the stevne was held July 12-14 at the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD. In years past, the stevne has been held at Decorah, IA and Wahpeton, ND, among other places. In 2002 it will be held at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

The stevne was attended by nearly 500 persons, including about 100 from Norway – an unusually large turnout from there. Sixty members of Sigdalslag attended. WE were pleased to count five Norwegians among that group. They were: Torstein, Bjoerg and Per Helge Skalland; Olaug Skalland; Gunhild Bergan, who are affiliated with Sigdalslag.

The genealogists of the seven lags brought their reference books and microfilms, which were available to the attendees for two days.  This “genealogy room” is a popular annual feature of the stevne. Also there were 17 hour-long classroom lectures on various topics in Norwegian-American genealogy, another popular annual feature.

On Friday, two busloads of stevne attendees visited the scenic Black Hills.

The day-long tour included stops at the Mammoth Site in the south Black Hills, Custer State Park, and the Crazy Horse Memorial. The last stop was Mt. Rushmore, where we had entertainment before dusk and the lighting ceremony after dusk.

On Saturday morning the seven lags held their separate business/cultural meetings. Fifty persons attended the Sigdalslag meeting. The agenda included the election of officers, a report on finances, a discussion and vote on bylaws changes, a videotape from last year’s Norway trip, an emigration skit and singing of Norwegian songs.

We should not forget the Thursday night entertainment: a folk dance troop, a story teller, a young lady who played the Norwegian (Hardanger) fiddle, and a complicated but fun line dance.

The grand finale was the Saturday evening banquet   and the Saturday evening entertainment. Performers were the group called Skålmusik and the farmer/singer/songwriter Chuck Suchey.

Click thumbnail images below to view photos.