Bay Ridge

Danish Club hosts annual festive Scandinavian Christmas Ball

December 12, 2018 By Jaime DeJesus Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Scenes from the Scandinavian Christmas Ball at the Danish Club. Photos by Arthur de Gaeta

Continuing a beloved Bay Ridge tradition, the Danish Club of Brooklyn at 741 65th St., hosted its annual Scandinavian Christmas Ball on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The event featured tons of games, music, food and holiday spirit for attendees young and old.

Coordinator and member of the band Smorgasbandet Jeanne Eriksson — who performs with Wayne Söderlund, Chad Widman and Johnny Söderlund — described the day as fabulous.

Among the highlights, she said, was the Lucia pageant, which features participants clad in white and wearing candle-studded crowns or carrying candles in a celebration of light during the darkest time of year.

In addition, said Eriksson, there was traditional music and dancing around the Christmas tree.

“It was a nonstop, high-energy Christmas party,” she added. “We had a lot of kids there. Santa was there. We do a traditional children’s game called the fishing game. They go fishing with a pole and they come up with goodie bags. It’s important to pass on these traditions to the next generation.”

More than 100 people were in attendance. “We had people that came as far as Norway who attended,” recalled Eriksson. “We had people from Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s basically a coming-home-to-Brooklyn Scandinavian party because at one time the largest Scandinavian community in the United States was Bay Ridge and we try very hard to carry on the Scandinavian heritage and traditions, especially here in New York.”

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Eriksson — who was born and raised in Bay Ridge — was named Swedish American of the Year in 2005. “I’ve actually been knighted by the King of Sweden,” she said, citing her musical efforts. “It’s a pretty big honor.”

The event is extra special to her and the community.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a little girl,” she said. “People always compliment us and say ‘thank you’ for keeping the traditions alive. I also hear a lot that it brings back memories from their childhood.”

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