Rebild Festival

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Entrance to Rebild National Park

The Rebild Festival (Danish: Rebildfesten), or Rebild Celebrations, is an annual celebration of the American Independence Day in Denmark. At the same time, it serves as a homecoming for Danish-Americans. It takes place in the Rebild National Park in Jutland from which it takes its name and is arranged by the Danish-American Rebild Society. [1]


Rebild National Park (Danish: Rebild Bakker) is a Danish national park situated near the town of Skørping in Rebild municipality, Region Nordjylland in northern Jutland, Denmark. The idea of arranging an annual gathering for Danish-Americans in a moorland setting in Denmark originated with Danish immigrant, Max Henius. Funds were being raised by Danish Americans to purchase to 200 acres (0.81 km2) of heather-covered hills and moorland, located in part of Denmark's largest forest, Rold Forest (Danish: Rold Skov). [2] [3]

When the area for the park was presented to the Danish government, it was explained that the area was to remain in its natural state and be open to the general public throughout the year. It would also serve as a venue for annual Fourth of July celebrations. Every July 4 since 1912, except during the two world wars, large crowds have gathered in the heather-covered hills of Rebild to celebrate American Independence Day. Due to a period of national mourning caused by King Frederik VIII's sudden death in May 1912, the first Rebild Festival was delayed until August 5. It was attended by somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 people.[4] [5]

Main speakers[edit]

1928 Marlon Letcher and Erik Appel

1929 North Winship and Th. Stauning

1930 Dr. Henry C. Leach and Dr. Knud Rasmussen

1931 Ruth Bryan Owen and Oberst H.C. Hansen

1932 F.W.B. Coleman and Halvor Jacobsen

1933 Sophus Hartwick and Oberst Poulsen

1934 Ruth Bryan Owen and Peter Freuchen

1935 Ruth Bryan Owen and Th. Stauning

1936 Erland Gjessing and Vilhelm Andersen

1937 North Winship and Johs. Poulsen

1938 John Hansen and Th. Stauning

1939 Malcolm F. Perkins and A. Th. Dorf

1945 Minister Monnette B. Davis and Prime Minister Vilhelm Buhl

1946 Ambassador Josiah Marvel and Prime Minister Knud Kristensen

1947 Dr. Emanuel Nielsen and Professor N.E. Nørlund

1948 Jean Hersholt and Julius Bomholt

1949 Editor Chr. Brix and Professor J. Brønsted

1950 Peter L. Jensen and Mogens Lorentzen

1951 John Hansen and Dr. Flemming Hvidberg

1952 Dr. Johs. Knudsen/Jean Hersholt and Prime Minister Erik Eriksen

1953 Paul G. Hoffmann and Author Hans Hartvig Seedorf-Pedersen

1954 Ambassador Robert D. Coe and Ambassador [[Henrik Kauffmann}}

1955 Earl Warren and Editor, author Lars Larsen-Ledet

1956 Ambassador Robert D. Coe and Actor Ebbe Rode

1957 James W. Gantenbein and C.H.W. Hasselriis

1958 Dr. Lee A. Du Bridge and Professor Erik Husfeldt

1959 Minister of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson and Minister of Agriculture Karl Skytte

1960 Ambassador Val Peterson and Professor Carl Iversen

1961 Walt Disney and Colonel C.A. Gabel-Jørgensen

1962 Richard M. Nixon and H.M. King Frederik IX

1963 Dr. Ralph J. Bunche and Rektor Willum Hansen

1964 Dr. Kingman Brewster and Børge Rosing

1965 Robert F. Wagner and Mayor Thorvald Christensen

1966 Semon E. Knudsen and J. Dons Christensen

1967 Walter Cronkite and C.H.W. Hasselriis

1968 Richard Netter and Professor Erik Husfeldt

1969 Hubert H. Humphrey and P. Nyboe Andersen

1970 George W. Romney and Former Minister of Culture Bodil Koch

1971 Raymond Burr and Author Hans Jørgen Lembourn

1972 Danny Kaye and Ejnar Buhl

1973 Governor Melvin H. Evans and Author Piet Hein

1974 Walker Lee Cisler and Professor Niels I. Meyer

1975 Marshall M. Fredericks and Actor Poul Reichhardt

1976 Victor Borge and H.M. Queen Margrethe II

1977 Edsel B. Ford II and Professor Sven Burmester

1978 Dallin H. Oaks and Professor Morten Lange

1979 Dr. Henry Viscardi jr. and Lis Hartel

1980 Art Buchwald and Actor Ove Sprogøe

1981 Pat Boone and Børge Ørsted

1982 Beverly Sills and Henrik Bering Liisberg

1983 Russel E. Train and Mag. Art. Erik Kjærsgaard

1984 John Naber and Journalist Gunnar ”Nu” Hansen

1985 Donald E. Petersen and Flemming Juncker

1986 Maureen Reagan and Dr. Jørgen Kieler

1987 Victor Borge and Erik Emborg

1988 Dionne Warwick and Hofmarskal Hans Sølvhøj

1989 Walter Shirra Valdemar Bandolowski

1990 Richard Chamberlain and H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik

1991 Garrison Keillor and Minister for Education Bertel Haarder

1992 Frits E. Lawaetz and Minister of Culture Grethe Rostbøll

1993 Richard B. Stone and Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

1994 Minister of Justice Janet Reno and H.R.H. Princess Benedikte

1995 Senator Sam Nunn and Former Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen

1996 Ambassador Edward E. Elson and H.R.H. Prince Joachim

1997 Governor Arne Carlson and Former Prime Minister Poul Schlüter

1998 Group managing director Jan Leschly

1999 Governor Charles W. Turnbull and Movie Instructor Bille August

2000 Elder Russell M. Nelson and Theatre director Michael Christiansen

2001 Tom Lantos, member of the American Congress and President of Parliament Ivar Hansen

2002 R. Michael Mondavi, CEO, Robert Mondavi Winery and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

2003 Senator Bill Nelson, Florida and Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller

2004 Ole Henriksen, Los Angeles, beauty expert and Etta Cameron, gospel singer

2005 Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group and Helge Sander, science minister

2006 Adm. Dir. William T. Newlin and Minister of Education Bertel Haarder

2007 Edward E. Elson, former ambassador and Christian Mejdahl, former president of Parliament

2008 John Mark Nielsen, director of The Danish Immigrant Museum and Henning G. Jensen, mayor in Aalborg

2009 Janet Borge Crowle and Niels Arden Oplev

2010 Ambassadør Laurie S. Fulton and Vesta's group managing director Ditlev Engel

2011 Congress member Steny Hoyer and Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen

2012 Actor Keith Carradine and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

2013 Professor Dale T. Mortensen and Journalist Steffen Gram

2014 Model and singer Malena Belafonte and CEO for Mærsk Niels Smedegaard Andersen

2015 Peter Work and Kim Bildsøe Lassen

2016 Ambassador Rufus Gifford and Mogens Lykketoft

2017 René Gross Kærskov and Anders Fogh Rasmussen

2018 Ambassador Carla Sands and Jesper Steinmetz

2019 Henrik Fogh Rasmussen and Ole Sønnichsen

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Danish-American Rebild Society". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark • Museum of Danish America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Interview with Mrs. Hilda Holmes (November 27, 1936). "Biography of Max Henius". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Rold Skov". Naturturist. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Rebild's Unique History". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark • Museum of Danish America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "About the Rebild Festival in Denmark". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark • Museum of Danish America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.

External links[edit]