My appreciation of the town of Lindsborg began in the 1990's when I was a student at Bethany College. I was an undergraduate who had a pair of blinders on during the school year, however, in the summers I stayed on campus and worked "Summer Staff". We hosted the camps and groups who stayed at the college. It was during these summer months that I got to drive folks around the town, hear tour guides explain about the first Swedish settlers in Lindsborg and even enjoyed tea at a local Swedish woman's home. I was able to leisurely wander downtown and stumble into the happenings of the town...
And it seemed like there was always goodness downtown. I loved the huge cinnamon rolls at one of the bakeries, the tropical snow place down by the water filter and it seemed like there were often random things going on. Surprising things seemed to pop up... and many times right in the middle of the street!
Now I know. That random stuff was not random at all. Lindsborg celebrates (!) its Swedish heritage and its small town-ness. This town pulls together big events and festivals so often that multiple parties are in the works at the same time! And here is the kicker: everyone who works on these things volunteers their time and money to pull it all together. We have a Convention and Visitors Bureau with two excellent employees (only one of which is full time), but these events are largely the work of the townspeople.
Before we even moved here I heard about a dynamic group of business owners, service providers and caring townspeople who meet each Monday morning at 8am. They're called the "Ad Hoc Group" because that's their essential structure. They are simply a group of people who show up! These folks do lots of different things including help pull events together. There are also two specific committees that are intentionally called to work (and work and work) on Lindsborg's two biggest festivals: Midsummers and Hyllingsfest.
I've found myself thinking a lot about these things because tomorrow is one of the town's most hilarious sounding events - Vaffeldagen. The townspeople and college are partnering together to host a Waffle Olympics... seriously funny stuff.
I remember the first time that this event was brought up at Ad Hoc. It was the third week of DECEMBER. We were right in the middle of big retail time and spent half of our time together laughing and dreaming up craziness for Vaffeldaugen in late March. These people are a hoot, I tell you! And they are people that I'm fortunate to get to be around.
I hope students, families, youth, lots of folks from all walks come downtown tomorrow and happen into Vaffeldagen. Perhaps they too will delight in what feels like random goodness downtown. I hope so. I hope this feels to them how it felt to me then and still feels now - good.