Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
FZG3mkG-show-poster2x3-nOossfs.png

SoCal Update

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
MZihTLV-show-poster2x3-5CKaGu8.jpg

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Little Sweden, Big Coffeepot: The Scandinavian Side of Kingsburg

Support Provided By

While Danish-founded Solvang may be the first place many SoCal travelers visit to satisfy Scandinavian cravings, just a few hours east in Fresno County lies Kingsburg, a small town with a big Swedish background. Less than a century ago, almost one hundred percent of the town's population was Swedish-American, a result of a nineteenth-century migration of Swedish immigrants from Michigan, and their descendents keep that legacy alive today by designing buildings in Swedish-style architecture, painting them bright colors (also a Swedish convention), and taking pride in serving some of the best (and probably some of the only) Swedish pancakes in Southern or Central California.

Although Kingsburg's Swedish village isn't as large in scope or scale as Solvang's Danish downtown, the hamlet celebrates its heritage in a big way annually with the Kingsburg Swedish Festival. Held over a long weekend at the end of May, the festival reportedly draws people from all over the country to partake in Swedish smorgasbord -- a buffet of hot and cold dishes -- the Dance of the Maypole, and browsing and buying in the shops of local vendors on Draper Street, the village's main drag. The festival also features Swedish folk music and live performances by dancers. Swedish garb is encouraged.

While locally owned businesses are still part of Kingsburg's norm and charm, the city has seen much development in the last several years -- in fact, in just over a decade, the population has increased twenty percent. But one thing that hasn't changed is the beacon that calls all Highway 99 drivers to this hub of Dala horses and lingonberry jam: the 60,000-gallon Swedish folk art-painted coffeepot that rises 122 feet into the sky. The roadside attraction is actually the city's water tower, and thirty years ago was remade into its current aesthetic. While it's impossible to miss on the trek from Bakersfield to Fresno during the day, even p.m. travelers can catch a glimpse, as the pot is lit at night.

Support Provided By
Read More
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Jon Yao of Kato Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.
A coloring page created by the Los Angeles Public Library's Octavia Lab. An illustration of Manuela C. García sitting next to a phonograph. Behind her is a faint sheet music background.

Manuela C. García, the Voice Behind a Treasure Trove of Old Mexican Songs

Born in Los Angeles in the late 1860s, Manuela C. García is the voice behind over 100 songs in Charles Lummis' recordings of Southwest musical heritage. Known mostly by historians specializing in 19th-century Mexican American music, her voice connects California's present musical history with its past.
A sign for Pine Ave Pier in Long Beach, California.

Where to Explore L.A.'s Most Fascinating Piers, Both Past and Present

As Los Angeles heads into the summer, find some time to see this historical piers and beaches across the county.