RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the Christmas season approaches, churches and communities are celebrating their cultures by bringing people together.
Little Norge Fest took place Saturday at the Canyon Lake Activity Center. Put on by Borgund Lodge of the Sons of Norway, visitors strolled through lanes of cookies and crafts while holiday music filled the air.
Terry and Kookie Strang, with Borgund Lodge, talked about how much work went into the event, but how enjoyable those moments were too.
“Last weekend, we made 170 dozen of the rosettes and 209 dozen krumkake. And then we are selling about 3,000 rounds of lefse,” Kookie explained.
Preparations were numerous, but the Norwegian couple was overjoyed to share the love of their culture with faithful supports and new faces alike.
“The culture has been here for a long time, but to expose it to a lot of other people that probably aren’t Norwegian or Scandinavian, that’s a plus,” said Terry.
A few miles down the road, a completely different part of Europe celebrated their traditions too. St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church held the Taste of the Mediterranean Bake Sale, complete with a Greek food truck.
Father Joseph Longofono explained the diversity in the area.
“We have various Eastern European Christians, we have Greeks as well, and we’re getting together and we’re reaching out to the community so that they can taste some of this delicious food,” he said.
Like Terry and Kookie, one of Father Longofono’s primary goals is to share his passions with those around him.
“Part of what we do is to just expose folks to the fact that there is this whole world of Christianity that they may not be aware of,” he added.
Even though many of Rapid City’s residents come from all different heritages, food and music usually help to open minds and hearts to neighboring cultures, especially during the magic of the holiday season.