Ninety Sigdalslag members were gathered in Willmar, MN for the 7 Lag Stevne July 7-10, 2004. This was highest number of Sigdalslag members attending the 7 Lag Stevne in recent years. The theme of the Stevne was Amber Waves of Grain. Sigdal was responsible for the planning and publicity for this year’s stevne. Congratulations to President Earl and all from the lag who helped make this a very successful event.
The 7 Lag Stevne includes the Land, Hadeland, Numedal, Ringerike-Drammen, Sigdal, Telemark, & Toten lags celebrating our Norwegian heritage from these areas in Norway. Some 355 persons attended the Stevne in Willmar.
The genealogy room was set up in Galleries 5-6-7 of the Conference Center giving lots of space for the many who were there to search information on their ancestors. For the second year the genealogy room was available on Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 as well as Thursday and ending at noon on Friday. Each lag was well represented with excellent persons to help search the multitude of information available. Lee Rokke, Sigdal genealogist, provided assistance and many resources to those searching the Sigdal area.
Some of the special events and tours included a pontoon boat dinner cruise on Green Lake, a beginner’s Hardanger embroidery class, a church dinner at Calvary Lutheran Church and a tour of the church showcasing the professional works on display by local Willmar sculptor/artist Fred Cogelow, and a history tour of NW Kandiyohi County.
On Thursday and Friday twenty-one classes and video’s were available for those attending 2004 Stevne on important genealogy topics, crafts and dance.
On Friday the opening ceremony was held with greetings from each of the lag presidents, with Earl Knutson, the president of Sigdalslag presiding. Norma Snelling led the national anthems of the United States, Canada and Norway. Norma Snelling also led a sing along at the end of the program. Dr. Mike Morris of Willmar presented An American doctor’s experience in Norway and Rev. Joel Njus talked about The Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association. Friday evening’s program included Norwegian Dancing by HjerteDans (Mikkel Thompson and Ruth Sylte) and Songs and Stories by Erik Bergeson.
Saturday the various lags held their annual meetings. The Sigdalslag meeting was held at the Old Log Church near Norway Lake in Arctander Township, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. This was a beautiful site for the meeting. The business meeting was held which included election of officers, introductions, a tribute to Alice Mensing written by her niece Addie Williams and read by Earl Knutson, thanks to Carol Meade for her service on the board, a certificate of appreciation to be included in the Saga for Håvard Støvern for his assistance to the lag, a discussion of new book to be published and help needed by current members. (See web page and Saga insert for further information). The program included a review of the list of Sigdal-Eggedal-Krødsherad immigrant settlers in the Norway Lake area of Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. Doug Glesne, descendant of Krødsherad settlers in this area, spoke about the Glesne family and the Railsons in Norway Lake Township. Earl Knutson, descendant of Sigdal settlers in this area, spoke about the Ole and Aase Knudson family in Arctander Township. Guri Enger, a guest from the Enger farm in Nedre Eggedal, spoke about her family and her job as a missionary in Mali.
Saturday afternoon the Malm Basselurskan Harmonica Orchestra from Trondelag entertained the Seven Lag Stevne from 2:30 to 4:00. The Stevne was culminated by the Banquet at 5:00 with dinner music by the Norsemen. This was followed at 7:00 by the Bunad parade and Ole and Sven by Dave Nelson and Phil Dybdal.
The next 7 Lag Stevne will be held in Whitewater, Wisconsin. An enjoyable time was had by those attending the 7 Lag Stevne in Willmar. We look forward to the next Stevne! Mark your calendars and plan to attend.