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April 2020

Special events everywhere have been impacted by the efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. You can find updates to Lindsborg COVID-19 related changes in hours and events here. While options have been limited, read on to learn ways to continue to enjoy Little Sweden USA either from home or in person (while still maintaining a respectable social distance from others).

Lindsborg Coloring Book
See the best of Lindsborg from home!

Enjoy the best of Lindsborg from the comfort of you own home with this free downloadable coloring book, made possible by the generosity of artist Carla Wilson, Lindsborg Community Hospital, and Fuqua Insurance, in partnership with the Lindsborg Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Art in Public Places A self-guided tour of Lindsborg

With a deeply rooted love of the arts, the Swedish born immigrants who founded Lindsborg planted a community that would foster and grow that love for generations. Experience this appreciation of art first-hand by taking the Public Art Tour. Displayed throughout town are numerous wind vanes on top of businesses, paintings on various downtown buildings, and signage fastened to decorative wrought iron artwork. While some indoor art is currently inaccessible, there is still MUCH to find out in the open. The Public Art Tour is an art adventure for everyone!

Hunt for the Wild Dala
Find them all! 

A Herd of Wild Dala horses roams freely throughout Lindsborg. The traditional Dala shape provides the base for 36 creatively painted Wild Dala horses, celebrating contemporary Lindsborg – its history, Swedish-Americana, the arts, everyday work and life, local groups and families and, of course – wordplay. The Hunt for the Wild Dala guide will help you locate members of the herd and introduce you to each of them.

Coronado Heights
Explore trails. Enjoy picnics. Take pictures.

Coronado Heights is the southern-most bluff in a series of seven, known as the Smoky Hills. The hill is located northwest of Lindsborg. It is believed that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his men viewed the prairie from this lookout point 300 feet above the valley floor. Chain mail from Spanish armor was found in the area by Bethany college professor J.A. Udden in 1915. Others have found Spanish coins, a bridle, and lead bars in the valley.

Sumac, yucca, spiderwort, butterfly milkweed, sand hill plum and gooseberries are some of the plants you will find. You might even spot a lizard or two. Native Dakota sandstone was used to build the castle and picnic areas in 1936 as a project of the Works Progress Administration, creating the perfect opportunity for a picnic, flying kites, hiking or riding the off-road bicycle trails. Don't forget your camera, as Coronado Heights is a favorite subject of photographers and artists alike.

To find Coronado Heights from the intersection of Main and Lincoln in downtown Lindsborg:
  • Head west on Lincoln. 
  • Turn north or right onto Coronado Ave / 13th Ave and go 2 miles. 
  • Turn west or left onto Coronado Heights Rd and drive 1 mile to the opening to Coronado Heights. Follow the road to the top.
For more information visit the Smoky Valley Historical Association Website.
Click here for more about the history of Coronado Heights and Höglund Dugout, one of Lindsborg's earliest homes–another great place to find when visiting Coronado Heights.

Lindsborg Merchants Available Online
Learn how to find your favorites 

While you have more time at home than you may be used to, we encourage you to continue to find your favorite Lindsborg stops online. Many Lindsborg Merchants can be found online, either through their website or via Facebook. Drop them a note of encouragement, share your positive reviews of their business, shop their stores virtually, or purchase a gift card for a friend or yourself to use later. Currently closed doors don't mean closed for business. We encourage you to encourage them during this time. We know they miss seeing you!

Here's a list to get your started!

Additionally, keep up with your favorite Lindsborg merchants on Facebook with the Lindsborg Business Connection page!

2020 Messiah Festival of the Arts
Celebrating Women in the Arts
Interrupted but not undone!

While a delay of the Messiah may seem unprecedented, this festival was postponed in 1918, and has continued successfully thereafter!
Messiah Festival of the Arts, 2020: Celebrating Women in the Arts, will continue modified as follows:
Please note, to eliminate confusion, all events show the previous schedule with the modification following. Also, keep in mind that all dates and times remain subject to change. View the full modified schedule of events here.

In absence of the in-person experience of Messiah Festival events, please enjoy the following historical account of its beginning:
Pastor Olof Olsson and his wife Anna, together with nearly 200 settlers from the Sunnemo Parish in Värmland, arrived in the Smoky Valley of central Kansas in June 1869. They settled on land purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad, and set about founding Bethany Lutheran Church and the community of Lindsborg.
Dr. Carl Aaron Swensson succeeded Olsson as pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in 1879. Bethany College was founded in the sacristy of the church on October 15, 1881, when ten children of the immigrant families began their higher education. The founding of Bethany College brought remarkable energetic people and ideas to this part of the Great Plains instilling both college and community with deep appreciation for music and art.

The Bethany Oratorio Society was founded in December 1881, when 40 parishioners were welcomed to the parsonage of Pastor Swensson and his wife Alma to learn the words and music of Handel's Messiah. Almost all of them were immigrants from Sweden who still lived in a pioneer world of sod houses. Alma Swensson, an accomplished musician, worked with the singers throughout the winter and spring in helping them learn the music as well as the English words.
The first performance by the Bethany Oratorio Society was on March 28, 1882, in Bethany Lutheran Church. Every Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday since, the College and the people of Lindsborg have come together to perform Handel’s great oratorio.
The first performance by the Oratorio Society of J.S. Bach’s Passion According to Saint Matthew was on Good Friday, March 29, 1929—the 200th anniversary of the very first performance at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig with Bach himself conducting. Dr. Hagbard Brase, a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm, instituted the tradition which carries on to this day.

In addition to the music of Handel and Bach during Holy Week, the Midwest Art Exhibition is hosted by the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery. The exhibition features works by regional artists as well as works from the permanent collection. The founders of this exhibition in 1899 were Carl Gustafson Lotave, G.N. Malm, and Sandzén. Lotave studied at the Royal Academy of Art. Both Lotave and Sandzén studied with Anders Zorn and Richard Berg.
The Swedish settlers who founded the community of Lindsborg and Bethany College displayed tremendous foresight in choosing Handel’s Messiah as the foundation of this festival, as it is a well-known and loved piece of art music in western culture. Messiah is a wonderful marriage of text and music that has been described as a “moral autobiography of a man.” The story of the nativity, Christ’s passion and resurrection, and the promise of redemption unfolds in a masterful intertwining of solo voices, chorus and orchestra.

Messiah (1741) is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. The name of the oratorio is taken from Judaism and Christianity’s concept of the Messiah (‘the anointed one’). In Christianity, the Messiah is Jesus. Handel himself was a devout Christian, and the work is a presentation of Jesus’ life and its significance according to Christian doctrine, with the text of the oratorio taken from the Bible. Messiah is Handel’s most famous work and it remains immensely popular among concert-goers.
The most famous movement is the Hallelujah Chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts. The text is drawn from three passages in the New Testament book of Revelation. In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for the section during a performance. Tradition has it that on first hearing the chorus, King George II rose to his feet, but the reason for this is still open to debate (some even doubting that the King was ever there). With him, the entire audience stood up.
While Handel's Messiah encompasses the entire spectrum of the Christian experience, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passion is a literal account of the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. In Messiah all the events are implied. Bach's Passion According to Saint Matthew is ripe with drama, as the listener experiences the events leading to Christ’s crucifixion through the words of the people who were there. Performed annually by the Bethany Oratorio Society since 1929, this masterpiece and its message has become, to many of the musicians and concert-goers, the essence of the Messiah Festival of the Arts.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the Passion according to Saint Matthew in the 1720s. The Passion is a retelling of the story of Christ’s crucifixion set to music. St. Matthew's Passion is a remarkable piece of music for many reasons. It is not only rich in music, but in drama as well. The music’s complexity ranges from difficult arias and recitatives to simple chorales, not to mention the double choir and orchestra.

The text of St. Mathew's Passion is taken from three different sources. The main text is from the book of Matthew in the Bible and the others from German poetry and hymns, which Bach entwines into the score. Together, with the texts and Bach’s somber meditative music, the Passion is an appropriate work to be performed on Good Friday.
While waiting to experience the Messiah Festival of the Arts, enjoy the following recording:

Hallelujah Chorus - Bethany Oratorio Society

Parks & Nature in Kansas | Waterfalls, Parks, Rivers &...

Enjoy the untouched landscapes of Kansas' many waterfalls, byways, lakes, rivers, parks, native bison and wildlife centers on your next Kansas vacation.

Read more 

Explore the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway
The Prairie Trail Scenic Byway is a 56-mile route through north central Kansas, extending from US Highway 56 on 27th Avenue in Canton and ending at the intersection of I-70 and K-156, near Ellsworth. From Canton, the byway winds through Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, Roxbury, Lindsborg, Marquette, Kanopolis State Park and Reservoir, Mushroom Rock State Park, and Carniero ending near the community of Ellsworth, providing rich scenic views steeped in history. January is a perfect time to see new winter views with possible eagle sightings near Kanopolis Lake.
  • Santa Fe Trail
  • Chisholm Cattle Trail
  • Stars and Stripes Military Museum
  • Last Carnegie Library built in U.S.
  • Hot & Cold water towers
  • Santa Fe Trail Cemetery

Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

  • Bison, elk, wildflowers, birds
  • "Covered Wagon" Tram Tours
  • McPherson State Fishing Lake
  • Home of Mountain Man Rendezvous


  • Established in 1871 as a Trading Post
  • Twin Mounds
  • Olive Springs School District #2
  • Christian Ridge Pioneer Cemetery
  • Valley View Cemetery


  • McPherson County Old Mill Museum
  • Coronado Heights
  • Meadowlark Trail
  • Välkommen Trail
  • Viking Village Playground
  • Wild Dala Horses
  • Red Barn Studio
  • Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery


  • Washington Street Historic District
  • Range School
  • Marquette Museum
  • Depot Museum
  • Marquette Pioneer Trail
  • Hanson/Lindfors Mansion
  • Kansas Motorcycle Museum

Kanopolis/Kanopolis State Park

  • Horsethief Canyon
  • Legacy Trail
  • Fort Harker Museum Complex
  • Fort Zarah Military Trail
  • Historical Drive-in Theater
  • Salt Mine
  • Faris Caves

Mushroom Rock State Park

  • Smallest State Park in Kansas
  • Dakota sandstone "mushroom" formations
  • One of 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography


  • 1882 sheep shipping point for Union Pacific
  • Arcola Ranch
  • E.S. Root Ranch home
  • Terra Cotta Community


  • Wickedest Cattletown in Kansas
  • Hodgden House Museum
  • Butterfield Overland Dispatch Trail
  • Chisholm/Cox Trail connection
  • Smoky Hill Trail
  • Mother Bickerdyke Memorial
  • National Drovers Hall of Fame
  • Historic Cattle Town Plaza walking tour

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