Norsk Hostfest celebrates 44th festival
Now in its 44th year, Norsk Hostfest has grown to be North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with people attending from all over the world.
The festival, held Wednesday, Sept. 27, through Saturday, Sept. 30, at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, will feature world-class entertainment, authentic Scandinavian cuisine and handcrafted Norsk merchandise.
Norsk Hostfest President Jessica Ackerman said this past year she has listened to ideas to propel Hostfest into the future.
“It is not easy knowing how to hold on to traditions with long, revered histories while also modernizing to grow the festival’s audience to ensure it continues long into the future,” said Ackerman “Throughout the year, I’ve been thinking about how we can learn from Scandinavians today in the same way we learned to celebrate traditions from our ancestors.”
Executive Director of Norsk Hostfest Alexis Meyers said, “Last year was our first year getting it back on its feet. This year we have been able to expand a lot.”
New events this year include the Bunad Parade which will be led by Hardanger fiddler Bud Larson.
A Scandinavian smorgasbord cooking competition will take place on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. where judges will be looking for the most creative and authentic Scandinavian dish.
Other events include a lutefisk eating competition that will take place in Oslo Hall daily from 4-4:30 p.m.
Viking Village will be inside the fairgrounds in Oslo Hall this year. Activities will be held there throughout the day including Viking battles and games, historical cooking demonstrations, axe crafting and historical research and storytelling.
There will also be an archery range, fletching displays and blacksmithing demonstrations.
Norsk Hostfest University will be back, offering a unique opportunity for festivalgoers to delve into Scandinavian culture through a series of lectures and workshops. It will be held in the Norsk Room in Skien Mezzanine and will take place daily.
Entertainment coming to Hostfest includes acts such as Mollie B, the multi-instrumentalist; Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator; and Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell.
Returning this year is the Norsk Hostfest Accordion Club performing twice daily.
Students with Rinat Mouzafarov’s Institute of Dance & Ballet Theatre will be performing on the Oslo Hall stage during all four days. Their Ski Fantasy performance has been a popular part of Hostfest and will be back as part of a larger showcase this year.
Parking for Hostfest is free in the east lot for all attendees and shuttles will be running until 10 p.m. There will also be a drop-off zone in front of the State Fair Center.