Third Annual Midsummer Festival Celebrates Swedish Heritage and Unveils New Mural

Third Annual Midsummer Festival Celebrates Swedish Heritage and Unveils New Mural

The Old Bakery and Emporium invites the community to join in its Third Annual Midsummer Festival on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located at 1006 Congress Ave., the festival offers free admission and promises a day filled with family-friendly activities and cultural celebrations.

Attendees can enjoy a variety of events, including authentic Swedish treats from Austin’s Fika Table, a flower crown-making station, traditional Swedish Maypole dancing, and artistic offerings like hair braiding, face painting, and an artist talk by local milliner Mamie Raynaud. Mom & Pops Frozen Pops will provide refreshments alongside traditional Swedish meatballs, available while supplies last. Live music will also be featured throughout the event.

Highlighting the day’s festivities is the unveiling of a new mural by local artist Ruben Esquivel, the first of its kind at the historic Old Bakery and Emporium. Selected through extensive public engagement, Esquivel, a fifth-generation Austinite of Latino and Indigenous descent, visually captures the rich cultural heritage of the site in his artwork.

Constructed in 1876 by Swedish immigrant Charles Lundberg, the Old Bakery & Emporium pays homage to its Swedish-American roots by hosting the Midsummer Festival. This annual event commemorates Midsommar, a traditional Swedish holiday celebrating the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year.

The mural project was made possible through the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation’s Writing on the Walls program, in collaboration with the Austin Parks Foundation and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Over 18 months of community engagement ensured the mural’s success and relevance to the local community.

Raasin McIntosh, VP of Active Urbanism at Downtown Austin Alliance, expressed excitement about the mural installation, emphasizing the Foundation’s dedication to creating public art that enriches downtown Austin’s public spaces and fosters community engagement.