Lindström celebrates 53rd festival for city's famous (fictional) hero


He's the most famous man in Lindström and thousands of people will be celebrating his legacy this weekend – even though he's fictional.

The city, about 45 minutes northeast of the metro area, kicked off its 53rd annual Karl Oskar Days festival this week, but the six-day celebration truly gets into full swing from Friday afternoon onwards.

Explore Minnesota describes it as the largest community celebration in Chisago County, as the community joins to honor the city's Swedish heritage through music, entertainment, a parade, dancing and fireworks.

As MPR explains, the festival is in honor of Karl Oskar Nilsson, a creation of Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg whose series of best-selling novels known collectively as "The Emigrants" – about Scandinavian settlers in Minnesota – are considered "some of the most important Swedish literature ever published."

Nilsson spent time in Chisago County in the 1940s as he drew inspiration from the local community and buildings for his stories (there's a statue of Nilsson in nearby Chisago City, as well as one of Karl Oskar in Lindström), that focus on Karl Oskar's family as they start their new life in Minnesota.

Such is Karl Oskar's legacy, the city of Lindström attracts 3,000 to 4,000 Swedish tourists every year, the news station notes.

The Chisago County Press pulled together an extensive list of events that will be held in the city this weekend.

There will be walking tours, craft beer sampling, a golf tournament, classic car show and a human foosball tournament, among other things, with the highlights being the big parade and street dance on Saturday evening.

The Karl Oskar Days organizing committee also has this schedule of events on its Facebook page.

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