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Swedes and Delawareans to celebrate New Sweden founding this Saturday

An important piece of Delaware history will be celebrated this weekend with a royal visit to the First State.

WDDE speaks with Sheila Romine, President of the New Sweden Alliance.

WDDE speaks with Sheila Romine, President of the New Sweden Alliance.

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Swedes and Delawareans to celebrate New Sweden founding this Saturday

King Carl the 16th Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden visit Delaware Saturday to commemorate the 375th anniversary of the founding of New Sweden.

The colony, established along the Christina River in present day Wilmington, was the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley.

Saturday’s anniversary celebration is a day-long affair with events in Philadelphia, Chester and Wilmington starting at 9am and running through 11pm. The highlight is a ceremonial re-enactment of Swedes and Finns landing at Fort Christina park.along the Christina River. The King and Queen will sail to Fort Christina from the Wilmington Riverfront aboard the Kalmar Nyckel, a recreation of the original boat that brought the Swedes and Finns to the new world.

The events were planned by the New Sweden Alliance, an umbrella group of Swedish and Finnish cultural organizations. New Sweden Alliance president Sheila Romine says that planning the whole day has been a collaborative effort.


Swedes and Delawareans to celebrate New Sweden founding this Saturday
The Kalmar Nyckel practices docking at Fort Christina Park for 375th anniversary reenactment of Swedes landing in Delaware. (photo courtesy: New Sweden Alliance - click to enlarge)

“Each of our organizations has worked in its own way but then as we’ve gone through and designed these events so that there will be something for everyone,” said Romine. “We’ve assigned a primary host of one of our organizations, or two in some instances, to each event so that each one has some direct oversight in that way.”

Romine believes that New Sweden is the least known American colony, but hopes this event will help raise it’s prominence.



“We just haven’t told our story well,” said Romine. “It’s important to tell that story because everyone wants to know our roots, we want to know our heritage and the significance of the names around us.”

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The New Sweden Alliance is hosting events throughout the year to celebrate and educate the public about the New Sweden Colony.

The New Sweden colony lasted for 17 years until captured by Dutch militia in 1655.

There’s more information on this weekend’s jubilee celebration and other 375th anniversary events scheduled this year at the New Sweden Alliance’s website,375th.org