Scouting Fair in Uppsala

arriving at the fair

Neighbors arriving at the Scouting Fair in Uppsala


Clothing is Key
Today I attended a (mostly) outdoor Scouting Fair in Uppsala. It was the coldest day in a series of cold days. The temperature hovered around 10 degree Fahrenheit. It’s days like these that one truly understands why there is a Swedish saying “No bad weather, only bad clothing.” (Inga dåliga väder, bara dåliga kläder.) I had on my warmest and longest down jacket. A few weeks ago when I complained about constant swings between feeling too hot and feeling too cold, I could not wear this jacket because it was too warm. There’s something wrong with my jacket (for the record, a deep eggplant color, not the typical Swedish black jacket) because it squeezes out feathers all over my indoor clothing and I have to use one of those roller things when I take it off. But it’s so worth it when it’s this cold. Anyway, I had that on, two shirts, a fleece “neck warmer (a tube that you wear around your neck and can pull up over your mouth and nose if needed-like a scarf but better). I did draw it up over my face today because my nose was so cold! I had my warmest boots on and two pairs of socks so my feet were warm. I also had long underwear pants and a hat.

The recent snowfall was the driest snow I’ve ever seen. It almost looked like fake snow used in a store window holiday scene because it was so fluffy. The sound of my boots was unusually loud on the snow.


Marzipan treats for sale…


Scouting Fair
These Swedes are so tough that they will hold and outdoor fair in 10 degrees and lots of people will come! This particular neighborhood scouting fair was a fundraiser for the scouts. They sold used articles people had donated; Christmas trees; baked goods; marzipan, hotdogs, etc. Kids took horseback rides.


One of the numerous lotteries…Just buy a ticket and they might choose your number…


There were also a number of different lotteries. You could pay for a number and then watch while a wheel was spun, hoping it would stop on your number. There was a “bingo-style” lottery where a number was selected at random from a rotating miniature barrel. There was a lot of gingerbread hearts with numbers and you could pick one. If there was a mark on the back, you won a prize (often more gingerbread). You also got to take along the number heart you picked.

Homemade treats for sale...

Homemade treats and crafts for sale…


Waiting to see who won...

Waiting to see who will win…



It takes lots of clothing, bundling up, and special stroller gear when you bring small children out in extreme weather…


Part of the fair was inside a church building (though this building was only borrowed, the Swedish Scouts consciously removed any link to the church (in their verbal oaths, songs, etc.) a few years ago. I was relieved to get into the warm, wood paneled interior.


Buy a ticket and pick a number gingerbread heart…if it has a mark on the back, you win a prize…


In the largest room, they had a “fiskdamm”  (“fish pond”) which you see at just about any child event. This involves the child holding onto a makeshift fishing pole. With guidance, the fishing line goes over a screen and someone on the other side ties a prize to the line. Then the line is hauled back over the side to the waiting child. It’s normally for the “ten and under” crowd.


The “fishpond” where the child “fishes” and hauls back his or her prize from the curtain…



Wanna buy a hot dog? (The marshmellows are unusual and an imported treat!)


A scout band played. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a tuba and a guitar playing together! They take whomever they can get, of course. After the band played, a teenage girl got up and sang “Blue Christmas” with a piano accompanist and then a 12-year old magician performed some card tricks.


The scout band…a piano player, a drummer, 2 guitarists…and the brass section, including a tuba…


The whole fair was, well, adorable. What could feel more festive around Christmastime than neighbors greeting each other at a fair, enjoying hot coffee on a cold day, the thrill of winning a prize…

  • scandidream

    Such a great description! So nice that you can find something very interesting to tell. And you turn your experiences into such a delightful reading :) I guess this posting answered a big part of my question about how to cope with the weather in Sweden. It is good to hear that most of the snow is fluffy. My experience in Seattle is that we get mostly a thin film of slippery ice the few days a year that we get snow.

    • Kristin Lund

      Thanks for commenting, Scandidream. There’s lots of different kinds of snow here but this weekend’s was definitely the driest kind. :)

  • Monica-USA

    What a nice event to attend Kristin. Looks like a lot of fun. Sounds like you need that new jacket from Columbia where the “dots” reflect your body heat back to you but you don’t overheat or sweat wearing the jacket. This way no feathers are falling out. :o ) Yes same thing here about our snow in Washington State we always get wet, heavy snow and as soon as the sun goes down it will freeze into ice. That is why we stay home for the few days of snow. People always laugh when they hear about the cars sliding down the hills in Seattle but one day of snow will always be followed by days of slick icy roads!
    I hope you won some prizes? :o ) Here’s the link for the jacket.,default,pg.html

  • S Terzian-Feliz

    What Christmas is all about: Children. Lovely.