In Garrison Keiler's fictional Lake Wobegon, the Midwest town of Scandinavian heritage, "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."
The NPR monologues stayed popular for over 40 years, nostalgically capturing the spirit of the real small towns dotting our nation, where families of Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish heritage take quiet pride in a still rural life. Today, such towns as Lindström, Minnesota; Naselle, Oregon (pictured); Kingsburg, California; and Lindsborg, Kansas are among the several towns nationwide where a vibrant Scandinavian heritage is still celebrated.
Over 10 million Americans are of Scandinavian heritage, with Swedish and Norwegian most common, followed by Danish and Finnish. You can experience their rich culture at festivals, museums and heritage centers nationwide.