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SWEDISH GROUP READY FOR ST. LUCIA FESTIVAL.

Byline: John Huddy Daily News Staff Writer

The annual St. Lucia Christmas celebration is coming Sunday to the Goebel Senior Adult Center in Thousand Oaks.

Hosted by the Vasa Order of Swedish Americans in Thousand Oaks, the event is in celebration of an ancient holiday custom started in Sweden back in 1655.

The tradition celebrates the coming of St. Lucia - a legendary figure who distributed food to the starving and poor in Sweden.

``This is a beautiful program,'' said Peg Carlson, secretary of the Vasa Scandinavian Group in Thousand Oaks. ``We've always had a good turnout - everyone that comes always has good things to say.''

The event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the senior center in Thousand Oaks, will feature a children's choir singing classic Scandinavian hymns and the Robert Wagner Choral, a local men's choral also contributing to the event in song.

Members of the children's choir will be dressed in white robes. Margaret Leung, the daughter of Vasa member Cathy Carlson, will portray St. Lucia, with a red sash around her waist and a wreath with mock-candles on her head, symbolizing the traditional lighting of candles for the festivities.

Peg Carlson says the event is the culmination of the holiday season for the Swedish culture, with parents and children alike getting involved in festivities.

There will be coffee and punch served, along with authentic Swedish and Scandinavian appetizers. This is the fourth year the annual event will be at the Goebel Senior Adult Center.

The center is located at 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. For more information on the festival, call (805) 381-2744.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 6, 1998
Words:271
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