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American Scandinavian Association at Augustana, Rock Island, Illinois, USA

The American Scandinavian Association was founded in 1934 by a group of Scandinavians living in the Quad City area. We are an associate chapter of the American Scandinavian Foundation, headquartered in New York, and an affililate of the Swedish Council of America, based in Minnesota. The ASA aims are:

  • to stimulate and promote interest in relations and culture between the U.S. and all five of the Nordic countries
  • to preserve the Nordic heritage in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa
  • to advance Nordic culture in the U.S. and U.S. culture in the Nordic countries

Some local annual celebrations include:

  • Yellow Pea Soup (Ärtsoppa) and Swedish Pancake Supper in January or February
  • Easter Craft Workshop in Spring (alternating with...)
  • Våffeldag celebration in March
  • Midsommar Fest in June
  • Concert by Swedish Jenny Lind vocal scholarship winner
  • Kräftskiva (Crayfish Party) in August
  • Lutfisk Dinner in Autumn, usually November (see our listing at Lutfisk Lovers' Lifeline)
  • Luciafest together with Augustana's Department of Scandinavian Studies
  • Occasional bus trips to Chicago's Andersonville and IKEA stores
  • Watch Augustana's Department of Scandinavian Studies for their schedule.

The ASA welcomes new members. Annual membership fees are $10 per individual, $20 per family/household. Membership privileges include opportunities for participation in ASA activities and informational flyers.

Email us to request a brochure! Or mail membership payment (checks payable to "ASA") to: ASA Membership, Swenson Center, Augustana College, 639 38th St, Rock Island IL 61201-2296. Click here and ask to join our Facebook page!

Crayfish Party (Kräftskiva) Saturday, August 26, 2017

The American Scandinavian Association at Augustana will hold its annual outdoor Crayfish Party (Kräftskiva), featuring a menu of traditional Swedish foods at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 26 at First Lutheran Church, 1600 20th St., Rock Island.

Traditional crayfish, Swedish meatballs, potatoes, lingonberries, bread, cheese and drinks will be provided. Please bring a side dish, salad, or a dessert to share. All table service will be provided, but please no alcohol at this location.

Scandinavian music and door prizes will add to the enjoyment of the evening. Must be present to win.

If it rains, the party will be moved inside to the church fellowship hall.

According to the American Scandinavian Association: "Crayfish have been a delicacy in Sweden since the 16th century. In the early 20th century, restrictions were introduced to crayfishing in Sweden and Aug. 7was the official opening of the season. Thus, the month of August became the official start of crayfish parties across the country.

"Wearing paper hats, stringing crayfish decorations, including the man-in-the-moon paper lanterns, singing and the audible slurping of the juice out of the crayfish all set the mood for a festive Kräftskiva! Some say that parties in Sweden begin in mid-day and last until dawn, often ending with a skinny dip in the lake!

"Sweden is the largest consumer of crayfish in the world; 2,500 tons are consumed each year."