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The city of Askov was founded in 1906 by the Dansk Folkesamfund (Danish Folk Society) … an organization with the aim of strengthening the cultural heritage of Danish-American immigrants.

Askov: Rutabaga vs. Rhubarb

Our visit to the tiny Danish hamlet of Askov (population 376) coincided with the annual Rutabaga festival. Rutabagas aren’t grown here anymore, but that’s OK since the celebration is really an excuse to have a giant town reunion. Just like homing pigeons, those who have left Askov return every year … some from as far away as Denmark.

Since we arrived a little too early in the morning for the festival, we walked around town and enjoyed all things Danish.

Here Danish traditions including Danish language classes in school, Danish church services, and folk dancing remained for many years. The Danish street signs were a community project for the U.S. Bicentennial.

The Rutabaga Warehouse & Feed store stands as a reminder of the importance of rutabagas to the city’s history.  The rutabaga era started in 1910 with seeds from Denmark and ended in 1978.

One woman gave us a test batch of Aebleskivers she had just made. We gorged ourselves on these delectable round Danish delights. When Sherry saw all the homemade pies, she asked for a piece of rutabaga pie. The bewildered women said that no had ever made rutabaga pie … it was then that Sherry realized that she was confusing rutabagas with rhubarb!

During the drive into Askov, Danny joked that he had a craving for a rutabaga malt. We were flabbergasted when we saw this sign!

We were surprised to find two excellent museums in this small town. The historical museum was quite interesting and proudly displayed the story of former Minneapolis Lakers star and local high school hero ... Vern Mikkelsen.

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