The history of Jærdagene

Kaizers Orchestra playing at Jærnåttå

There is a long story behind how Jærdagene first started. This info is taken from their website and translated from nynorsk to English. Nynorsk is not a preferred type of Norwegian, neither by me nor Google Translate, so there may be a couple of misunderstandings as there were no dictionaries available…

“Jærdagen is the successor of the old Time market, which started in 1914. At this time, the Time municipalities were allowed to keep horses on the market square in Bryne the last Tuesday in May.

In 1953, the horse-market moved to the city hall area (Rådhustomta) because the market area was now being used for cars and buses. The tractor had started to take over the use of horses, and the demand for horses had decreased greatly.

The Ministry of Commerce said that the Time market had to close down in 1959. The horse market was held for the last time May 27 1958.

Only 15 to 20 horses were for sale. The trade group at Bryne could not watch the market die out when people had a habit of coming to Bryne to make good bargains. In addition to this latest horse market, there was held an exhibition of products from eight industrial companies from Jæren.

Several companies were interested, but there was no roof to be below, which some products of the companies demanded. Magnus Jonsbråten wrote: “It was natural that companies would show off their product, they were now on the rise after a build-up period after the war. As the chairman of the exhibition, Nils Underhaug, wrote:

“(The situation) had now improved their lot with access to almost all raw materials and hence the finished goods and products. The business life had taken a new word to their current production; automation. This created a new impetus and enthusiasm.
At this point, there was more efficiency in the businesses of Jæren. The previous year (1957), Jæren Automation Company was established with 10 member companies from Bryne and Jæren.
Greater production demanded increased sales efforts. It was therefore very natural with the idea of a local exhibition at Bryne, where companies could show for their products for a larger audience. ”

Tore K. Wiig, who was president and contest chairman in Rogaland Bygdeungomslag, organized the contest in precision driving on the market area. This was a trial year Jærdagen. If “everyone” wanted to be a part of this, they needed a large roof over their head. In 1959, Tore K. Wiig and Torger Westerland rented a big tent for the Norwegian Farmers’ Union.

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 1959 were the first “rightful” Jærdager. The first program booklet was made by Ola Nordsletten, featuring a drawing of the crooked Raune standing alone by the stone wall inclining inwards with bare, wind whipped branches.

Later, this has become the emblem of Jærdagen. During the opening speech of the first Jærdagen, the mayor, Bjarne Undheim, said: “The day will mark the new era, and be an exhibition of mechanization and rational ways of working in agriculture, industry and trade. We hope and that these days will contain elements of the culture.”

The contests have been a part of these days since the very first time: sheep-trimming, reforestation, cow judging (no idea what that is), tractor driving, cheese pantry, flower arrangements, sandwich-cutting (not that either), music and songs.

The organizers of Jærdagen have been, Bryne trade association, Bryne Sports Club (today Bryne FK and Bryne Athletics), Brynes Vel, Rogaland Bygdeungomslag and Time municipality. Later the Jæren Industry Association joined.

The main contents of Jærdagen have remained unchanged, but new titles on the program have been added.

The women were responsible for the food and drinks, but today also the men are a part of this.

From 1965 Jærdagen was extended by Friday, so that the event went over three days. Friday was the market sale and marching in the streets of Bryne.”

This year, there will be several concerts on both Friday and Saturday. Both during daytime and in the evening. Check out the daytime program here and evening program here.

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