Monday, October 24, 2011

Land of the Vikings

A surprising fact about Minot is that it is home to the largest annual Scandinavian festival in North America: Norsk Høstfest. Although the flooding may have led to the cancellation of the state fair (which also occurs in Minot), those dang Vikings could not be robbed of their annual pilgrimage. Our sponsor organization, Lutheran Disaster Response, hooked us up with complimentary tickets and the day off to indulge in the festivities. First we drove over to the local Scandinavian park to tour some traditional buildings.

Full wodden church in Scandinavian Park

Upon arriving at the fest, we were greeted by a giant troll man.

Team poses with funny troll

Then there was the Swedish Dala horse, a Scandinavian mascot of sorts.

Not to mention traditional foods all over the place. Gaby and I went on a quest to eat them all. I had some Swedish meatballs, and we tried this dessert called Rommegrot, which is incredibly caloric and delicious treat made with cream, butter, and copious amounts of cinnamon sugar. Here is Gaby, initially deciding whether she likes it or not:

Rommegrot posing with Gaby

There were also a ton of vendors and people showcasing their arts and crafts. There were Lots of wood-workers, and performances including an accordion player's rendition of "Sweet Caroline," a Boston favorite, Vikings fighting with real swords, and girls dancing on skis. I can't make this stuff up, people. I didn't take a very good video, but there's one online if you want to see what it's all about. Which, of course you do.

Ski Dancers dancing to Chi Mai by Escala
Our second day at the festival was spent working with some volunteers from LDR to serve food cooked on site by Scandinavian chefs. Spiffy outfits, right?

All in all it was a fun time, and like I said, a surprising turn of events. Minot, the Viking capital of North America? Go figure.

~ Darcy
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