“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 07/31
  • Art & Culture
  • Community


Glad Midsommar!

Over the course of the year our BPC Parks Programming team coordinates more than 1,000 free programs and events for guests of all ages – this summer alone we’ve got more than 600!

But none are bigger than the Swedish Midsummer Festival which for a generation now has called Battery Park City home. This year, some 6,500 revelers came Wagner Park on Friday, June 23 for a free celebration of the summer solstice with much food, fanfare, and fun.

As ever, Battery Park City Parks staff spent the days leading up to the event  prepping accordingly, from getting the flowers together for the traditional wreaths, to decorating the park and surrounding areas.


Prep by our BPC Parks staff is second to none


Staff also decorated the traditional maypole with sunflowers and greenery. Swedish vendors lined the sidewalk with traditional food from meatballs to herring, waffles, and candy. Adults and kids alike spread out blankets and had picnics on the lawn, while children played traditional Swedish games.

Then, beginning at 5pm hundreds of attendees lined up to claim flowers and make their crowns for the celebration.

Collecting flowers to make their crowns


And at 6pm the moment arrived, with a procession led by fiddlers from the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis parting the crowds and moving into Wagner Park.

Once the maypole was in place, BPCA President & COO Shari Hyman and Swedish Consul General Leif Pagrotsky welcomed everyone to the event with a description of the Midsummer festival tradition.

Said President Hyman: “We have been hosting the midsummer festival for nearly two decades, with our annual celebration now the largest event of its kind in the world. Let’s enjoy a wonderful evening and many more summers of happiness, peace, and good fortune to come!”

BPCA President Shari Hyman welcomes guests to the Swedish Midsummer Festival

The crowd then enjoyed classic folk dancing performances by Barnklubben Elsa Rix, a children’s dance club from New York City, and the Swedish Folkdancers of New York, which performed traditional favorites around the maypole.

The crowd then joined the festivities and exhibited their own dance moves as instructed by Scandinavian folklorist Ross Sutter. While rain threatened throughout the day it amounted to no more than a drizzle – and didn’t stop anyone from enjoying this wonderful midsummer tradition!

There are worse ways to spend a summer evening.

More photos and information can be found on BPCA’s Facebook and Instagram feeds, as well as on the Swedish Consulate General’s flickr.

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Swedish Midsummer Festival!

See you soon in Battery Park City!

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