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A Swedish-American Fraternal Organization

Instituted May 20, 1914

Erie, Pennsylvania

Photo: Lake Erie,  PBellingham

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Svea Lodge #296 WELCOMES YOU to our website.  It is a work in progress.  There is so much information shared on our website, we know you'll need to visit it several times.   

We sincerely hope you find some fun, inspiration, and camaraderie in the Svea Lodge #296 website.  Our events will be updated regularly.  We will strive to make this informational and interesting, whether it is about Viking lore, Scandinavian traditions, what to bring to a Kraftskiva party, or how to properly wear the Brudkronan.  We have many members in our District 9 who regularly visit Sweden and share their photos of beautiful Scandinavia!   

Because of our website, we now have friends from a Sister Lodge #452 Goteborg, Sweden!   Click on the News tab above for photos of their District #19's convention, held in May.  

You can also see who's new to Svea #296!

If there is something that you would like featured in our News or a program you would like to see, please let us know through Contact Us or better yet - join in at an event!   We would love to see you. 

Sköt om dig!   


Chair, Svea Lodge #296

Erie, PA

Next Vasa Lunch

formerly known as 

Vasa Breakfast

August 7, 2023

11:30 AM

Butch's Restaurant

3330 West 26th

Erie, PA

(in deference to July 4th holiday, no lunch in July)


Upcoming events

For a full description - click Events tab or the headers below

Join us now to become a member.  Members must be 14 years of age but younger children are always welcome to participate!  

You can attend all of our activities.   You will receive our Newsletter so you can stay informed about what is happening within the Svea Lodge.  Check out Our Story - Member Benefits to see what's in it for you!

Join us now!


Wellness Wednesdays - Sunrise Yoga - from 6-7AM at Dobbins Landing

Kickball League - Flagship City Sports & Sips - 5-9PM every Friday at Perry Square, Downtown Erie


2023 Scandinavian Folk Festival - July 15-16 - Northwest Arena, Jamestown, NY

2023 Mt. Jewett Swedish Festival - August 11-13 - Mt. Jewett, PA

Phrase of the Month:  

A Swede does not say that you’re “stuck in an awkward situation,” they say that you “sit with your beard in the mailbox”: Sitta med skägget i brevlådan.


Summer in Scandinavia

Top Photo:   Djurgarden Island

Left:  Summer House, Sunne, Sweden

Left Bottom:  Skulestadmo, Norway

Below:  Tivoli Garden, Copenhagen, Denmark

Photos courtesy of E. Dunhem & P. Bellingham


Svea Lodge is dramatically  improving its public face with our  Wild Apricot website.  We are so happy to have you here.

We are very excited about this development. Our website describes who the Svea Lodge is, our history, and our ongoing activities. You can also find a description of Vasa Order Of America of which we are the local lodge in Erie, PA.

The website works very well on any smartphone or regular computer so you can access the website from anyplace, at any time. 

Keep checking this website for frequent updates and news about the Svea Lodge and our activities.

Sign-Up Today!

The Midsommar night is filled with magic

Photos courtesy M Stickner and P Bellingham

In 2023, Midsummer Eve falls on June 23rd, but in many places, festivities are held during the whole Midsommar weekend.

From the late Middle Ages, Swedes began raising and dancing around a Midsommar pole. Decorating it with flowers and greenery is called ‘maja’, so it is also known as a maypole.

In the agrarian society, the Midsommar night was considered a time of magic and mystery when plants acquired healing powers and were used to predict the future. Young women would pick seven different kinds of flowers and put them under their pillow to dream of their future husbands. The flowers must be picked in silence, or the magic would be broken.

Walking barefoot in the dew as the Midsommar night turned to dawn helped you stay healthy. Wearing a wreath of flowers in your hair is an old symbol of rebirth and fertility. To preserve the flowers’ magic throughout the year, bouquets were dried and sometimes placed in the Christmas bath to keep the family healthy through the long, cold winter.

Today, Midsommar is about celebrating that the best time of the year lies ahead of us.

Like all major holidays, Midsommar revolves around eating and drinking. The Midsommar fare boils down to a few musts: fresh potatoes, pickled herring, Aquavit or 'snaps' and strawberries.  (Unfortunately, no alcohol is permitted on Presque Isle at Svea Midsommar so you’ll have to save your beverages for home.)

The meal is finished off with fresh strawberries served with whipped cream. Any Swede will tell you that Swedish strawberries are the best, and they may be right. Due to the long, bright and cool spring nights Swedish strawberries don’t burn their sugar as quickly, making them sweeter. You can also enjoy them in a classic strawberry cake, jordgubbstårta.

The Golden Jubilee of Carl XVI Gustaf will be celebrated in 2023 in the Kingdom of Sweden, to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession of King Carl XVI Gustaf on September 15, 1973.

The 500th anniversary of the election of Gustav Vasa as King of Sweden will also be noted during the Jubilee year on June 6th, marking his election as the monarch and the beginning of Sweden leaving the Kalmar Union.

Jubilee commemorations will begin in January, with a dinner at Stockholm Palace for representatives from all of Sweden's counties. From February to September 2023, the King and Queen will travel throughout the whole of Sweden and visit a number of cities.

Celebrations will take place on September 15 and 16 in Stockholm to mark the Golden Jubilee. On September 15th the Te Deum will be held in the Royal Palace Church. During the day, the King will oversee a changing of the guard and will receive a singer's tribute at the palace's outer courtyard. The same evening, a dinner will be held in the Rikssalen at King's Hall. On September 16th, the King and Queen will travel in cortege through the capital.


Village of Hoyanger in Norway on Sognefjord.

Photos courtesy of P Bellingham

Join Us For Fun-filled Events Together With Our Sister Lodges In Our Vasa District, PA #9

Why not visit our two sister Lodges within Pennsylvania District #9? The two other lodges are Nobel-Monitor #130 in Cleveland, OH and Drott-Lodge #168 in Washington, D.C. Check out their websites to find out what they are doing.

We plan to have some joint activities together with members of the other two lodges to include some fun events in their areas and we will travel there to spend a day or weekend with them.  We can, to the extent possible, arrange car pooling.

More information about these events later.

Here are the websites for our two sister Local Lodges and our District Lodge PA #9:


Drott Lodge:   

District Lodge PA #9:

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Pat Bellingham, Chair

C/O Luther Memorial Church Office: 814.454.0106


225 West 10th Street

Erie, PA 16501

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