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Nordic Fest celebrates all things Scandinavian

"Daughters of Norway members Lucetta Walker, Karen Toyne, Evelyn Varon, Laverne Tiedeman, Alice Cydell, Pat Nostrand and Judy Hadlock make lefse in preparation for Nordic Fest on Nov. 4.Matt Johnson, staff photoWhidbey Island Nordic FestSaturday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.South Whidbey High School commons, LangleyPresented by the Daughters of Norway Ester Moe Lodge #39The sights, sounds and smells of Scandinavia will greet visitors to a grand celebration of those northern countries at the Whidbey Island Nordic Fest presented by the Daughters of Norway on Nov. 4 in Langley.The program of events and activities includes demonstrations of Scandinavian crafts, children's activities, more than 18 vendors selling handcrafts and other products, and the Norsk Cafe and bake sale already made famous in previous years. There will also be special guests, including Astrid Scott, co-author with Dr. Tore Haug of the just-published book, Defiant Courage: Norway's Longest WWII Escape. The volume tells the true story of commando soldier Jan Baalsrud, a Norwegian saboteur who flees the Gestapo and battles the harsh Arctic cold in a journey to freedom, aided by the people of Norway's Troms District.We're very excited to have Astrid Scott coming to Whidbey after her journey from Host Fest in the Midwest, said Linda Spencer of the Daughters of Norway. Scott will be signing her book from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Another guest, this one distinguished by her mastery of the art of papercutting, is Sharyn Sowell, whose original designs of detailed pastoral scenes and delicate florals are cut freehand from a single sheet of paper with tiny sips of Swiss scissors. Sowell, whose work has been called striking and imaginative, will be featured on KING-TV's Evening Magazine Nov. 28, but she'll be demonstrating her art before that at the Nov. 4 Nordic Fest. Many local craftspeople will also be present: Liz Leese will demonstrate rosemaling; Lucy Nelson, hardanger; Lucetta Walker will be at her spinning wheel and Suzanne Ramsey will be weaving at the loom.Virginia Lindsay will staff a booth on genealogy, and Dexter Lewis will be carving outside on the lawn. And dressed in authentic Sami costume, Dennis Helpie will portray the culture of the natives Norway, Sweden and Finland.Shoppers preparing for the holidays will have an expansive choice of gift items: fine linens, sweaters, jewelry, blankets, clogs, frog boots for kids, birdhouses, soup mixes, aprons and dollhouses. For the holiday dinner, hundreds of pounds of potatoes have been transformed into lefse, gallons of pickled herring will be stacked high, and bags of Finn potatoes will be available.Also in the food arena, the Norsk Kafe will serve salmon chowder, pea soup, lefse, krumkake, rommegrot, open-faced sandwiches and the Verdens Beste Cake (world's best cake) -- a confection of sponge cake with vanilla cream filling covered with an elegant meringue. Continuous music by the Pickled Herring Band and Talia Marcus will entertain, along with the Ladies Chorus and Young Skandia Dansers. The youths are also co-hosting children's events and activities such as face painting, hair braiding, heart basket making and the ever so popular Tante Monica, who will be there reading treasured old Scandinavian stories. "

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