On Friday, October 7, the Leif Erikson Day celebration in Westby will start with a free showing of “The Last King” (Birkebeinerne), a movie depicting the 1206 AD fight for the Norwegian empire in a civil war saga. The movie is described as an exciting action movie with beautiful nature and winter scenery. You can see the movie in the Community Room in the lower level of the Bekkum Memorial Library at 7:00 pm. Due to “Viking violence,” the movie is rated R.
On Saturday, October 8, another invasion of Vikings will arrive in Westby at 9:00 am to celebrate Leif Erikson’s discovery of Amerika. We hope that you come downtown to usher in the Chamber of Commerce Viking ship that will bring the 2016 surprise “Leif” and Luther College Vikings to Westby, moving north on Main Street to Central Express. Mayor Danny Helgerson and LED President Jess Taylor Reed will welcome Leif when they enjoy Swedish pancakes, open-face breakfast sandwiches and meatball “special” meals that will be available to the public all day at the restaurant.
From 9:00 – 10:00 am at the Westby Veterans Field, you can register for the kubb tournament that starts at 11:00 am. Teams of three can register for $30. There will be a100% payback in prize money to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. WAHS will be selling lefse/polse for you to enjoy while playing or watching the kubb tournament. We will also have a “picnic license” so you can bring your own “hot toddy” or “refreshing beverage” to enjoy the beautiful fall day.
The VFW will be open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for people to buy rommegrot from the Westby Sons of Norway, to see Clinton and Beverly Bagstad demonstrate lefse and to watch Karen Hankee show you how she does rosemaling. You will be able to purchase books relating to genealogy and Norwegian history from Deb Nelson-Gourley. Wood carver Hal Blitzer will bring his beautiful works of art, and community organizations will be available with information about their groups. Leif Erikson tee shirts and buttons will be sold and Blaine Hedberg will be available for genealogy research.
From 10:00 – 11:00 am, you can register for the First Annual Lefse Contest at the VFW. Bring 10 plain rounds of lefse on a disposable plate with a small entry fee of $10. Find out if your family eats the best lefse! Blind judging will begin at 1:00 when Brittany Lake from Channel 19, Mayor Danny Helgerson, Finn Brobakken from Norway and our Facebook “winner” will be the celebrity judges for this event. Fun prizes will be awarded at 4:00 pm to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Call 608-571-LEIF (608-571-5343) for information and to register.
At 1:00 pm in the lower level of the Westby Coon Prairie Church, come to hear Elspeth and Owen Christianson tell a story of mystery and intrigue where a set a bed posts and murder caused the settlement of one land and the discovery of another, and how the love of a women motivated building the first church in the new world. Leif Eriksson had a mother, a sister, a sweetheart, and a ward mentioned in Viking sagas, but little is said of the daily work the women must have done feeding and clothing the folk of the colonies or how they must have worked together to spin the yarn and weave the cloth for the sails that brought the Norse ships to North America. Elspeth Christianson will share the everyday skills of the women that kept their families alive and made the Viking voyages possible. Come hear the stories of the excitement of new lands, bold adventurers, plagues, ghosts, and notorious murderers.
To support this LED event, get a 2016 LED collector button that is on sale at Cenex Gas, Central Express, Dregne’s and Kwik Stop. Check out our Facebook page and our website at www.leiferiksonwestby.org for more information or to contact us. You can also watch Channel 19 Daybreak on Friday, October 7 to learn more.