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IKEA plans midsummer buffet in stores Friday

Lorraine Mirabella

7:30 AM EDT, June 13, 2013

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It's not summer solstice yet, but home goods retailer IKEA is jumping in a week early to mark the longest day of the year.

The IKEA Midsummer Celebration, in restaurants of all U.S. IKEA stores on Friday, features a smorgasbord with what is probably one of the longest menus of the year. Summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21.

Midsummer is an important Swedish summer holiday, the retailer says, and Friday's buffet menu will reflect that. Besides meatballs with lingonberries, customers will find herring, poached salmon, Swedish cheeses, salads, boiled dill potatoes, hard boiled eggs with shrimp, Swedish ham, crispbread and strawberries with whipped cream, among other menu items.

Tickets are $12.99 per person and $4.99 for kids 12 and under. Special discounts, of $9.99 per person or $2.49 for kids, apply to IKEA FAMILY members.

 "Our Swedish roots are an important part of the IKEA story," Donna Fitzgerald, the company's food commercial manager, said in IKEA's announcement. She said events such as Midsummer "allow us to share our Swedish culture and heritage with our guests and to hopefully start a new tradition."

In Maryland, IKEA has stores in White Marsh and in College Park. Seating for Friday's buffet is limited, and the retailer is encouraging people to buy tickets early at the store. (They're on sale now.) Check here for the buffet's dinner seating times at the White Marsh store.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com