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Norwegian fest plans stop in New Richmond next Thursday

Folk singer Tone Jorunn Tveito, right, and Hardanger fiddler Torgeir Straand will perform in concert Friday morning at River Falls. Tone and Torgeir have been entertaining audiences in several countries, including a visit to America in 1996. In addition to playing the lur, Tone is a kvedar (traditional folk singer).

Norwegian musicians Torgeir Straand and Tone Jorunn Tveito are featured performers at this year's 7-lag stevne at the University Center, UW-River Falls, June 25-28.

The New Richmond Heritage Center will also play a part in the festivities. A bus tour to the historical museum is planned for 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.

Sju-Lag Stevne (Norwegian words, sju [shoo] meaning "seven"; lag [lahg] meaning "group/s," and stevne [stev-neh] meaning "reunion" or "rally."

The annual Sju-Lag Stevne sponsored by Norwegian Stevner, Inc. NSI is an umbrella organization for seven different groups, representing seven different areas of Norway: Telemark, Toten, Numedal, Sigdal, Hadeland, Land, and Ringerike Drammen District.

The groups rotate in hosting the annual stevne. This year's host is Telelaget, representing Telemark. Coordinator is Telelaget's President John Haugo from Hudson.

The Sju-Lag Stevne provides an opportunity for those of Norwegian heritage to learn more about their immigrant ancestors. Each lag has its own library, which is available to participants, as well as skilled genealogists to assist in researching family trees. Classes are offered for family historians covering everything from beginning genealogy to writing a family history. Other classes include art, crafts, food, and dance. Display booths feature arts, crafts, clothing, and books.

The theme for this year's event is "Bridging the Generations," with an appeal to the young and to families. Students will be admitted free.

In addition to speakers, movies, and a buzzing hospitality room, the action-packed four days include the option of two bus tours: one to the New Richmond Heritage Center and another to Mindekirken (Norwegian Memorial Church) in Minneapolis and the Old Muskego Chapel, the oldest Norwegian church in America, located at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Entertainment includes LeRoy Larson and the Minnesota Scandinavian Ensemble Show Band and two of Norway's most prominent young musicians: Tone Jorunn Tveito, a folk singer from West Telemark, and Torgeir Straand a Hardanger fiddler from B .

A culminating event is the Saturday evening banquet and program, which includes a colorful bunad (Norwegian folk dress) parade.

To learn more, visit

For details, visit or call John Haugo at (715) 381-1430.