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HCSCC Announces Scandinavian Hjemkomst & Midwest Viking Festival for June 22 & 23

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County (HCSCC) and Nordic Culture Clubs (NCC) are excited to announce the 41st annual Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival and Midwest Viking Festival, which will return to the Hjemkomst Center and Viking Ship Park on Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23.

The festival is offered in an effort to promote local history and highlight the prominent Nordic heritage of the Red River Valley. In that effort, the Hjemkomst Center and Viking Ship Park are filled with hundreds of vendors, artists, musicians, historians, chefs, and demonstrators – including dozens of Viking sword fighters – all showcasing the people, food, music, stories, and ideas that crossed the Atlantic from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Lapland or Sápmi.

Returning visitors will recognize many of the vendors, performers, and demonstrators this year. Hardanger fiddler Bud Larsen, Stockholm’s piano group Trio Con Brio, Scandinavian dancers NorSweDanes, Viking singer Kari Tauring, mythologist and historian Jan Smith, and local Scandinavian folk orchestra Skål Music are just a few of the festival veterans returning to the Hjemkomst Center and Hopperstad Stave Church. Food historian Thora Helleloid, blacksmith Doug Swenson, spring pole bowl turner Roger Abrahamson, artist and jeweler Jordain Kinnander, glass and beadmaker Ashlyn Noble, the fine folks from Jameson Leatherworks, and dozens of Viking sword fighters from across North America are a few of the veterans showcased outside in Viking Ship Park.

Jay Haavik, lead woodcarver on the Viking replica ship The Saga Oseberg [pictured here],
brings a new Viking ship builder to the Hjemkomst Center (Photo: Jay Haavik).

However, once again the festival has grown beyond its usual size and this year is bringing several newcomers. HCSCC is particularly excited about three new performers this year, Swedish opera singer Peter Tornberg, the Swedish Viking games troupe Telge Glima, and Seattle-based Viking Connection master woodcarver Jay Haavik. Telge Glima offers a funny, acrobatic take on Viking games involving sticks, ropes, and burlap sacks that frequently resemble a wrestling match or game of rugby. Jay Haavik is the world-renowned woodcarver who was chosen as the lead woodcarver on the Saga Oseberg, a replica Viking ship commissioned by the New Oseberg Ship Foundation in Tonsberg, Norway. Given the legacy of shipbuilding in the Red River Valley, highlighted so prominently at the Hjemkomst Center, HCSCC considers Haavik a very welcome addition.

Performances and demonstrations will be held throughout both days of the festival in Viking Ship Park, the Hopperstad Stave Church, Heritage Hall, Heritage Theater, the Hjemkomst atrium, and the auditorium.

The auditorium will double as “Tastes of Scandinavia,” where visitors can indulge in both new and traditional Nordic foods, including lefse, lutefisk, lingonberries, vinaterta, aebelskiver, and rømmegrøt, and søt suppe. As Sweden is the featured country at this year’s festival, they’ll also be serving snacks and drinks at the Troll Bar near the Hjemkomst Center atrium. Outside near the Hopperstad Stave Church, the Minnesota-based HammerHeart Brewing Company out of Lino Lakes will return to sell their Viking-inspired brews in the Viking Beer Garden.

The Red River Danes’ Raspberry Kringle, available in the auditorium or
“Tastes of Scandinavia” with hundreds of other Nordic food options (Photo: HCSCC).

Festival admission is $15 per day for adults, $10 per day for seniors (55+) and teens, and FREE for children and HCSCC members (who bring their membership card. Overflow parking is available at American Crystal Sugar and the Moorhead Center Mall. LinkFM will offer free shuttle service between the mall and the Hjemkomst Center.

For more festival details, contact HCSCC Communications Coordinator Davin Wait. For questions about accessibility or accommodations, including human guides, ASL interpretation, and audio description, please contact HCSCC Programming Director Markus Krueger.

Scandinavian Hjemkomst and Midwest Viking Festival is proudly sponsored by Alex Stern Family Foundation, Moorhead Rotary, Forum Communications, Moorhead Public Service, KFGO, HPR, the FM Extra, Moorhead Community Access Television, Moorhead Parks and Recreation, the City of Moorhead, LinkFM, Lake Region Arts Council, Super 8 Motels, The Arts Partnership, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and Wells Fargo.

Website Event Link: https://www.hcscconline.org/shmvf2018.html

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/189778534986449/