Since 1953 people have been making the trip to Stromsburg the 3rd full weekend in June to celebrate their Swedish heritage or to be Swedish for the day. Swedish food, costumes, and dancing can be enjoyed throughout the festivities. There is plenty of free entertainment in the downtown square, the Stromsburg Public Library and around town. The chicken and pork chop BBQ on Friday night is a Stromsburg tradition. Basketball, kickball and horseshoe tournaments are annual events as is the Sunday car show. The kids can look forward to hours of entertainment at the carnival while you enjoy crafts in the square or in the local shops. Don’t miss the grand parade on Saturday evening.
The city of Stromsburg traces its roots to Ockelbo Sweden. In 1856, 155 people from Ockelbo sailed to America searching for a new life. Many of these people settled in the Galva, Illinois area. Lewis Headstrom led a group of these Swedes to start a new town in Polk County, Nebraska. In 1872 Stromsburg was founded and it was named after a section of Ockelbo called Stromsborg. Stromsburg continued to grow as friends and family of the original group followed from other areas of America and from Sweden.
Stromsburg was given the title of the “Swede Capital of Nebraska” by Governor Frank Morrison in 1966 at the Swedish Festival. Over the years Stromsburg’s Swedish population has stayed strong. In the 2000 census 30% of the citizens of Stromsburg claimed Swedish ancestry. This was the highest percentage of any city over 1000 people in the U.S.