Fyr-BÜl Fest

Fyr-BÜl Fest

Weekend nearest June 21
The Fyr-Bîl Fest held every year in Ephraim, Wisconsin, reflects the town's Swedish and Norwegian heritage by incorporating customs traditionally associated with Scandinavian Midsummer celebrations. The two-day festival is presided over by a "Viking chieftain," chosen on the basis of his contributions to the community. On the first evening the chieftain, whose identity has been kept secret, arrives by boat at Ephraim on the shores of Lake Michigan, where he is greeted by children dressed as elves. After a coronation ceremony, he proclaims the official opening of summer and lights a bonfire in which an effigy of the Winter Witch is burned. Other groups along the shores of adjacent Eagle Harbor then light their own bonfires.
In addition to the bonfire, traditional Scandinavian events at the festival include folk dancing and welcome mats in doorways made out of evergreen boughs woven together. There is also a trophy race at the Ephraim Yacht Club.
CONTACTS:
Ephraim Historical Foundation
P.O. Box 165
Ephraim, WI 54211
920-854-9688; fax: 920-854-7232
www.ephraim.org (c)