Celebrate Scandinavian culture on Whidbey Island next weekend at the Nordic Folk Fest.
The festival, hosted by the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge, is open to the public with an admission fee of $3. Children ages 12 and under may enter for free, accompanied by an adult. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Nordic Hall, which is located at 63 Jacobs Road in Coupeville.
Lodge Chairman Brian Petersen said the festival is a renewal of an event last held in 2019. The lodge’s first “Nordic Culture Day” had a nice turnout, he said, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from repeating the feat.
“This year, we’re trying to revive it,” Petersen said.
The Nordic Folk Fest will feature expanded offerings from the 2019 event. Petersen said there will be activities for the whole family to enjoy.
The festival will include a Scandinavian bakesale with cookies, cakes and rolls donated by lodge members; a Nordic buffet with such offerings as “meatball sundaes” and Swedish hotdogs; cooking demonstrations of lefse, krum kake and aebleskiver; and a small market of vendors selling goods related to Scandinavian culture.
Visitors can even take part in a pickled herring eating contest.
Cultural demonstrations will also take place. A weaver from the Bothell Nordic Lodge and three local wood carvers will demonstrate their craft. Marshall Suttles of Burlington-based Suttles Metal Works will also be present with his forge to demonstrate metal forging.
Guests will include members of the Bothell Nordic Lodge who will reenact a Viking encampment, a herd of Norwegian fjord horses from a farm in Skagit County and a pack of Norwegian elkhounds from Janor Kennels in Oregon.
The elkhounds’ breeder, Jan Herinch, said Norwegian elkhounds are among the oldest living dog breeds in the world and have historically been used for hunting moose in Norway. Their English name “elkhound” was a result of a mistranslation, she said.
Herinch added that elkhounds have long been wonderful companions to humanity; elkhound remains have been found buried with human remains that date back to between 5,000 and 4,000 B.C.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Whidbey lodge member Lori Hansen and the Pickled Herring Band; Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag, a group of young people who play the Norwegian hardanger fiddle; and the Cukes, a Whidbey-based ukulele group that is admittedly not Scandinavian, Petersen said, but still a lot of fun.
For children, there will be a “troll den” inside the Nordic Hall where they can make Nordic crafts and color pictures. There will also be outdoor Scandinavian games for children and a Viking boat photo booth.