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Norsk Høstfest to start next week

Scandinavian heritage emphasized

Andrea Johnson/MDN People were putting up signs in the State Fair Center at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds on Friday to prepare for next week’s Hostfest. Among some of the special decorations put out from year to year are carved trolls and Viking figures, a street sign honoring Chester Reiten, the founder of the Norsk Høstfest.

“Pure Scandimonium” will return to Minot from Sept. 25 to 28 when the Norsk Høstfest is held at the State Fair Center in Minot.

Norsk Høstfest Association President David Reiten said the festival will focus strongly on Scandinavian heritage, from vendors to crafters to performers.

A big draw to the festival are all of the Great Hall of the Vikings performers. According to material on the official Norsk Høstfest website, the main stage acts feature crowd pleasing performers like Chicks with Hits – country singers Terri Clark, Pam Tillis, and Suzy Bogguss, who will perform at 1 pm. Sept. 25; crooner Daniel O’Donnell, who will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 25; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, who will perform at 1 p.m. Sept. 26 in a joint performance with Ricky Nelson Remembered, starring Nelson’s sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson; country singer Clint Black with special guests the Texas Tenors, who will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26; Charley Pride with special guest ISMO, who will perform at 1 p.m. Sept. 27; Gabriel Fluffy Iglesias, a stand up comedian who will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 27; singer, comedian ventriloquist and celebrity impressionist Terry Fator, who will perform at 1 p.m. Sept. 28; and legendary rock and roll group Chicago, who will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 28.

But Reiten said there is plenty for Høstfest attendees to do even if they pay for a general admission ticket and do not attend one of the Great Hall of the Vikings performances.

Singers Kyle and Dave, the Norwegian Bachelor Farmers, are back again at the Høstfest this year.

Andrea Johnson/MDN People were putting up signs in the State Fair Center at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds on Friday to prepare for next week’s Hostfest. Among some of the special decorations put out from year to year are carved trolls and Viking figures, a street sign honoring Chester Reiten, the founder of the Norsk Høstfest.

Among some of the general admission entertainment includes gospel singers The Medora Gospel Experience – A Musical Celebration; a Neil Diamond tribute show with performers Matt Vee and the Killer Vees, who are the son and nephews of Bobby Vee; Norwegian cowboy Bjoro Haaland, who has long been a popular singer at the Høstfest; Mollie B, of Jim Busta Band and Squeezebox and the host of the RFD-TV Polka Show, the Mollie B. Polka Party; the ever-popular comedy act Indian and the White Guy, otherwise known as Williams and Ree; the Kentucky Riders.

The Viking Village, with historical reenactors, is always popular with audiences. It features people dressed up in historic Viking garb like chain mail who demonstrate live steel combat. Others show off their Viking crafting skills. Telge Glima will be back to show off Viking games and sports.

A family friendly side stage act called Sigrd and the Dragon features Anna Rynefors, who will let children interact as she tells stories of dragons and Vikings and plays ancient musical instruments. True Thomas the Storyteller, another performer, will entertain with stories from Norse legend.

Crafters also will have the opportunity to register for classes at Høstfest University. Most classes were already sold out last year by the time the festival opened. Registration fees for the class are charged in addition to the general admission to the Norsk Høstfest. More information about registration and fees can be found on the hostfest.com website.

Among the classes being offered this year at Høstfest University are “A Swedish Love Token,” to be taught from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25 by Sidonka Wadina in Oslo Hall; crafting a trichonopoly bracelet, taught by Ashlyn Nobel from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25 and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27; Crafters can also sign up for a class in how to make a Norwegian harvest favor, taught by Wadina from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in Oslo Hall; an introduction to spoon carving, taught by Erik Vevang from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in Oslo Hall and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27; beginning nalbinding: Finnish stitch, taught by Kelsey Paton from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26; how to make a Norwegian dream catcher, taught by Robin Baird Carlson from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in Oslo Hall; how to make your own glass beads, taught by Nobel from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28; glass enameling, taught by Alysa Harron from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in Oslo Hall; Telemark Rosemaling, taught by Teresa McCue Thompson, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 26; Viking navigation, taught by Dwayne G. Haines from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 26; plaited bracelets in colored straw, taught by Wadina from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27; Norwegian hand felting, taught from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 27 by Robin Baird Carlson; beginning nalbinding: Oslo stitch, taught by Kelsey Patton from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Oslo Hall; Viking glass bead making, taught by Alysa Harron from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Oslo Hall; advanced nalbinding: two color Oslo stitch, taught by Kelsey Patton from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday; kolrosing, taught by Darlene Fossum-Martin from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28;

Reiten said another huge part of the Høstfest is the Scandinavian food. Top chefs from Norway will prepare the food available at fine dining restaurant En To Tre, which is back for another year.

And many people return from year to year to sample favorites like the Augustana Rice Pudding; First Lutheran Church’s rommegrot; Bethany Lutheran Church’s sot suppe, biscuits and gravy, and lutefisk; Christ Lutheran’s potet klub, or potato dumplings; the Dakota Finnish Society’s beef stew’ bread pudding by Daarthe; and the ever popualr Viking on a Stick.

Reiten said the show couldn’t go on without all the dedicated volunteers who help make the experience so special for attendees, and people come from all over to attend the festival.

More information about the schedule and the many other things going on at the Høstfest can be found at the Høstfest website.

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