Jule Fest

Spearfish, S.D. — Velkommen til årets julefest! The House of Scandinavia hosted their annual Jule Fest at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. It was a way South Dakotans descended from Scandinavia could enjoy their roots.

Immigrants settled in the region primarily between 1870 and 1920, and while some came from Denmark and Sweden, they were largely outnumbered by those from Norway. Many who remain in South Dakota can recall special moments with grandparents who’d immigrated and brought the love of their country and traditions with them.

Janice Koski, a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church said,

“My grandmother came over from norway when she was 17 years old, and she passed away in 91, but i remember growing up, every time that we would sit down to a meal with my grandmother she would say this prayer.

I Jesu navn går vi til bords
Og spiser, drikker på ditt ord
Deg, Gud, til ære, oss til gavn
får vi mat i Jesu navn.”

To help celebrate the Scandinavia traditions, there were antique displays, crafted works of art, local photography and music. Still, no Jule Fest would be complete without delicious food. Some of the traditional foods offered were ebelskiver, rømmegrøt, and the very popular lefse. There was even a lefse making table, where a group of teenaged boys worked to expertly and authentically recreate the special Norwegian taste. 

John-Aage Hamnvik, an exchange student from Norway approved of the fest saying, 

“It feels very much like Scandinavia, feels like going into a Jule Fest that’s at home.”

The House of Scandinavia was present with a room of goods including bakeware, cook books, and Scandinavian candies. There were also quilts for sale, Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, face painting and a silent auction. Although some have not had a chance to visit the home of their ancestors, love of culture and heritage still runs very strong. 


If you’d like to try your hand at an easy Lefse, below is a recipe to please the masses.

Lutheran Lefsa


  1. 6 cups of water
  2. 2 sticks of Parkay margarine
  3. 8 cups Hungry Jack Potato Flakes
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 2 teaspoon salt
  6. 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  7. 3-4 cups of flour

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Add margarine and stir until melted
  3. Stir in potato flakes
  4. Add sugar and let mix set for 2 hours
  5. Add the salt and stir in the whipping cream. Cover the mixture and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Next morning add 3-4 cups of flour and mix by hand until the consistency is smooth.
  7. Let rest for 1/2 hour
  8. Roll dough into golf ball sizes and refrigerate for another 1/2 hour
  9. Remove a few balls at a time to roll out on well floured surface
  10. Use a cloth rolling area and cloth-covered rolling pin to roll dough as thin as possible
  11. Cook at 500°on a lefsa griddle or an electric griddle for around a minute and turn over with a long narrow stick.
  12. After cooking, place on top of wet towel covered with a dry towel, then cover with plastic.
  13. Wrap the entire batch in plastic and set to cool
  14. May freeze extra in plastic bags

Makes about 40 lefse

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News