Norskedalen Annual Midsummer Fest 2016: It’s time for Midsummer Fest!
Jonsok, as it is called in Norway, heralds the beginning of summer and is one of the year’s biggest Norwegian festivals. Celebrating the shortest night of the year with food, flowers and dancing has been done for hundreds of years. And, because flowers don’t come until June in most parts of Norway, Maypoles are even part of the party. This year, Norskedalen will go back in time to celebrate the summer solstice at our Midsummer Fest on June 18 and 19 with many of those same Norwegian traditions!
The Norskedalen grounds will be open for tours and there will be excitement in every space available. Starting both days at 10:00 AM, demonstrations, activities, wagon rides, trail hikes and food will all be part of the fun! Norskedalen members can enjoy the day for free and visitors pay only the regular $6.00 admission fee adult, $3 child, Family $15 (parents w/ children under age 18).
Strawberry shortcake and rømmegrøt are favorites at both Jonsok and Midsummer Fest. “Troll rolls” (sandwiches made with lefse instead of bread), hot dogs and chili dogs, BBQ’s, donuts and varma/pølse round out the yummy picnic food you will find at Norskedalen. It will take a full day to participate in all the activities so plan on eating lunch while you are here.
Music and dancing are always a big part of any Norwegian gathering and this one is no exception. Many musicians are already scheduled to be in the shelter house from 11:00 until 3:00 during the fest. The Truth and Spirit Band and Lou Shields will each headline one day! There will be plenty of room to grab your favorite partner and show us a step or two. You will be able to watch the Norwegian dancers demonstrate folk dances on Saturday at 1:30 to learn a few new steps, too.
Wagon rides, walks on the beautiful trails, and seeing fjord horses and alpacas are just a few of the fun things you will experience. Watch how to make butter, rope and needlecrafts like spinning and knitting – see how hard Grandma would work to have these things. We have children’s crafts along with the scavenger hunt, and first prize for finding the Medallion is $25.00 so come with comfortable shoes to make the search. We will also be playing the Scandinavian lawn game kubb so be sure to bring your competitive edge.
Midsummer visitors to Norskedalen always want to see the Trolls at the bridge and they will be here again this year. Norwegian mythology tells tales of old, ugly and mean trolls but at Norskedalen you will find them to be funny and friendly!
Of course, a Norwegian heritage event would not be complete without rosemaling and wood carving. In the Thrune Center, the Coulee Region Rosemalers will have a display and sale of beautiful items and the Coulee Region Woodcarvers will have their competition and sale that is always so popular.
This wonderful event happens with the help of our faithful volunteers at Norskedalen. Like the elusive nisse, they are always around before, during and after events to plan, prepare, groom and host. Most of all, they come for the fellowship and the love of Norskedalen. If you would like to help, please contact us. We can always use the talents of helping hands and volunteers get in free!
Midsummer Fest at Norskedalen is one of the best events we have to show off both the nature and heritage parts of our name and our mission. The natural beauty of the grounds and the incredible homestead buildings are a backdrop for this wonderful event that cannot be matched anywhere in the Coulee Region. Please join us on Saturday, June 18 from 10 – 4 , or make it your Father’s Day family outing on Sunday, June 19 from 10 – 3. You won’t want to miss out on the good food, the many interesting things to see and the fun activities we have planned!
Who: Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center
Where: N455 O Ophus Rd, Coon Valley, WI 54623
When: Saturday, June 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday, June 19, 2015, 10 am – 3 pm