If you have some Nordic heritage — and even if you don’t — you won’t want to miss the Nordic Music Festival, which will be held at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in Chanhassen from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The festival includes musicians, singers, folkdancers, food, crafters, artists, and the 3rd annual lutefisk toss. The event is made possible by the Scandia Lodge (a Sons of Norway lodge based in Waconia), the Nordic Heritage Club of Carver County, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.
“This event is free to the public and promises to be a fun day for the whole family,” said Dick Kellor, president of the Scandia Lodge of Waconia.
“The Nordic Music Festival will be held rain or shine, as the performers will be in a large tent equipped with plenty of comfortable chairs,” he said. “A second performing area will also have continuous entertainment, and that is under a pavilion, adjacent to the cafe where water, coffee, and Scandinavian pastries can be purchased.”
One of the highlights of the event is the Viking Village, which will be set up on the grounds of the festival and staffed with authentic Vikings in periodic dress displaying and demonstrating many Viking traditions.
“Come and learn about Viking history by talking to a real Viking,” said Kellor, who explained that the finale of the festival will include the traditional Lutefisk
Toss Competition, which pits a team of Norwegians against a team of Swedes.
“The team that tosses the most hunks of lutefisk into the bucket wins a beautiful trophy, and all of the honor and glory that goes along with the victory,” he said.
Kellor described the performers that are scheduled to appear:
• Vidar Skrede of Norway, a member of the Norwegian group Geitungen. He plays the standard fiddle and the Hardangar fiddle. Vidar will be playing with Eric Segnitz. Vidar will be a featured performer at the Höst Fest in Minot this fall.
• ASI Spelmanslag, a fiddle group out of the American Swedish Institute that began through Paul Dahlin and continues with a few dozen players participating.
• Elise Peters, playing Nyckelharpa, an important type of fiddle from Sweden.
• Fjell og Fjord, a children’s Norwegian folk dance group
• Versk Spelman, the Spargo family with roots from Western Dalarna near the Norwegian border
• Art Bjorngjeld and Char Bostrom, who play button box and fiddle. Art is an talented entertainer and performer of Nordic music. Char is an accomplished fiddler.
• Ballade, a Danish folk music group
• ASI Male Chorus, a chorus out of the American Swedish Institute
• ASI Cloudberries, a chorus out of the American Swedish Institute
• Vasa Junior Folkdancers, a Swedish children’s folk dance group
The festival also includes a silent auction. Kellor noted that the silent auction is an important source of funding to cover the many expenses of the event.
“Grants from the Sons of Norway Foundation, from the Nordic Heritage Club of Carver County, and the Minnesota Regional Arts Council have been a big help in supporting the festival,” he said. “Bring your lawn chairs and have a fun day at the 2012 Nordic Music Festival!”
For more information, visit www.nordicheritageclub.org.
A number of volunteer opportunities exist for the festival. To learn more, contact Ross Hanson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.