Photo by Chris Ellerbroek


Summer Traditions

Rusty crayfish are a well-known menace in our Northern Minnesota lakes. But did you know that crayfish are so valued and tasty in Sweden, that the country has a designated hunting season for the crustaceans? Enter the Kraftskiva. To celebrate the beloved crayfish season, a crayfish party emerged across Sweden and into Finland and Norway. For over 100 years, the tradition of Kraftskiva has been bringing people together in conversation, food, song, and drink. 

This year, we’re bringing the Kraftskiva tradition to Ely! The Ely Folk School and  Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District are teaming up to host a Kraftskiva Potluck! We’ll provide the crayfish, Swedish cultural traditions, and information about removing rusty crayfish from your favorite lake if you bring a dish to share! Join us on Saturday, August 12 at 5 pm. 

This fun, cultural, and educational free event is just one example of the value of the Ely Folk School. Plus, did you know that EFS served nearly 30% more students in 2022 than in 2021? If you have learned or enjoyed your experience with us, please consider donating during our Summer Fundraising Drive. You help us keep the momentum strong! Thanks to the support of an EFS community member, every dollar you give up to $15,000 this summer is matched! Every dollar you donate helps us get $2 closer to our goal. Thank you for your support! 

P.S. We hear you! We just added additional iterations of our most popular August classes! If you missed registration for Hammered Copper Bowls with Stone Tools or Quiet Hunt for Forest Gold: Mushroom Foraging, you now have another chance! We added a second Copper Bowl class on August 6th and a second Forest Gold class on August 13th. 

Lucy Soderstrom, Program Director


View a full list of classes online.



We invite you to become a Friend of Ely Folk School through your donation. Thank you so much for helping us accomplish our mission of building community by providing learning experiences that celebrate the wilderness heritage, art, history, culture, and craft of the people of northern Minnesota.

The Ely Folk School is made possible by: Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, Lake Country Power, Minnesota State Arts Board, Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, and Rotary International.