Monday, May 31, 2004

Mortensen won't attend
Denmark's Fourth of July



The organizers of Denmark's annual celebrations of U.S. Independence Day said that Viggo Mortensen, who played the world-weary Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, won't be the main speaker at this year's festivities after all.

"Viggo Mortensen sent us a letter saying he could not attend, which unfortunately the Rebild Society didn't receive in time," said Lars Hoegh Hansen, secretary-general of the association that has organized the annual Rebild festival since 1912.

The event is billed as the biggest Fourth of July party outside the United States.

"Right now we're working on getting another personality of the same caliber," Hoegh Hansen said, adding that they hope to have the new name by early next week.

Organizers said the 45-year-old Mortensen, whose father immigrated to the United States, would speak at the annual Rebild festival in northern Denmark. Mortensen's letter came after the announcement was made to the media.

The other speaker at the event is Etta Cameron, an 84-year-old American-born gospel and jazz singer who lives in Copenhagen.

Danes and descendants of emigrants have celebrated the U.S. Independence Day with barbecues, square dancing and country music outside Rebild, a village 155 miles northwest of Copenhagen, since 1912.




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