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Something old, something new at this year's Viking Fest | Kitsap Week

The teacup ride adds to the thrills at the  Viking Fest carnival. - Brad Camp
The teacup ride adds to the thrills at the Viking Fest carnival.
— image credit: Brad Camp

Poulsbo has been celebrating Viking Fest for 43 years, and still this year’s event offers some interesting features.

Miss Washington Jacquie Brown, third runner-up for Miss America 2011, will be grand marshal of the Viking Fest Parade on Saturday at 2 p.m. Then, true to the heritage of Little Norway, she’ll sample some lutefisk as a prelude to the annual Lutefisk Eating Contest on Sunday at 2 p.m.

That’s worth some photos.

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club’s 39th annual Pancake Breakfast will be held at the new City Hall on Saturday and Sunday, with proceeds benefitting the club’s North Kitsap High School Scholarship Fund.

Everyone knows about the Lutefisk Eating Contest; this year, it will be followed for the first time by an Oyster Eating Contest.

Viking Fest will also honor the First Lutheran Church of Poulsbo’s 125th anniversary; traditional Sunday services will be followed by a special service with the Vestre Sund Mannskor, or Norwegian chorus.

And Little Norway’s cultural celebration will have a multicultural touch, with marimba music and Irish dancing in the entertainment mix (Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is a Viking Fest sponsor).

Viking Fest is held each year to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day; the constitution, adopted May 17, 1814, was a national symbol in the struggle for Norwegian independence, which was achieved in 1905 and severely tested in World War II. Poulsbo’s early non-indigenous population was composed largely of Norwegians who came here on a wave of entrepreneurism; they were followed by fellow expatriates seeking refuge from a Europe torn asunder by war.

Viking Fest begins Friday at 4 p.m. with opening ceremonies at Kvelstad Pavilion, at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. The opening ceremony includes the Naval Base Kitsap Color Guard, Norwegian national anthem sung by the Poulsbo Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus, U.S. National Anthem sung by the Kingston High School Chorus and Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus, and introduction of Miss Viking Fest and Miss Poulsbo. Food and craft booths will open on Anderson Parkway, the carnival will open at King Olav Parking Lot, entertainment will continue at Kvelstad Pavilion, and Viking Village will open at Waterfront Park.

Saturday, Viking Fest continues at 7 a.m. with the Poulsbo Noon Lions’ Pancake Breakfast, followed by the 34th annual Viking Fest Road Races at 9 a.m. and the Viking Fest Parade at 2 p.m.

The Sons of Norway will serve a traditional Norwegian lunch Saturday, upstairs in the lodge: pea soup, traditional open-face sandwiches (including rolle polse), pickled herring, krumkake and rosettes, traditional desserts, as well as cakes, bars and cookies.

“Our traditional lunch is a big deal to us as we do a lot of preparation,” said Barb Mitchusson of the Sons of Norway.

For some cultural culinary fun, you can go to the lodge and watch a crew make lefse, and then buy it hot off the lefse grill. “Customers will get to see it prepared and buy it right there and put their own butter and/or sugar and cinnamon on it,” Mitchusson  said.

Sunday, the pancake breakfast resumes at 7 a.m., followed by services at First Lutheran Church, video presentations at the Sons of Norway Lodge, a performance by the Jewel Box Theater's Poulsbo Players, the lutefisk and oyster eating contests, and a performance by KCMT’s Rising Stars and Ignite!. The booths close and entertainment ends at 4 p.m.; the carnival closes at 6 p.m.

Among the rides you can expect at the carnival, according to Sherry McKay of Paradise Amusements: Bumper cars, Paratrooper, Sky Master, Strawberry-Go-Round, Super Slide, Tilt-a-Whirl, Twizzler, the Zipper, and an “array of kiddie rides,” she said.

“We’ll have homemade corn dogs and caramel apples, the ring toss, Frogger, and other games as well,” she said.

Ride tickets are $1 each, 20 for $18, 30 for $27. Viking Fest is pre-selling carnival wrist bands at a discounted price of $22 — that’s a savings of $5 from the regular price and comes with $5 worth of game tokens.

Wristbands are being sold at Viking Bank, 18960 Highway 305 (near the corner of 305 and Hostmark Street) until sold out. The wristbands are good from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4-9 p.m. — you choose your session of unlimited carnival rides. If you buy a wristband and use it on Saturday for the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. session, you can purchase an additional session at the ticket booth from 4-9 p.m. for $10 more — that’s a full day of unlimited carnival rides for $32.

Viking Fest Corporation President Ron Krell expects 30,000 to 40,000 visitors; that number includes return visitors each day.Viking Fest will cost about $20,000 to produce; any profits support scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

There are two parking options:

Motorists with disability placards can park at the Edward Jones Investment Offices, 19032 Jensen Way NE, or across the street in front of the old city hall on Jensen Way.

Agate Pass Transportation will provide shuttle bus service between downtown and North Kitsap High School, Poulsbo Middle School and Poulsbo Elementary School.

Shuttles will run continuously from 4-10:30 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Roundtrip fare: $2 per person. Children 5 and younger will ride for free.

“The large number of spectators who come to watch the parade, view the entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion, visit the food, craft and commercial booths on Anderson Parkway and enjoy the carnival rides in King Olav Parking Lot make downtown parking spaces few and far between,” Krell said.

"Cars trying vainly to find a space clog the streets and block the access of emergency vehicles. Shuttle buses decrease that congestion and relieve the driver’s stress and aggravation while seeking a non-existent parking space. There is no charge to park in the school lots, however, you can also park a bit closer to downtown in Christ Memorial Church’s parking lot or in the First Lutheran Church’s parking lot on Friday and Saturday only, for a modest charge. So, please park at the school lots and relax as the buses speed you downtown without the hassle."

Viking Fest’s sponsors: Valley Nursery, Inc., Central Market, Blue Sky Printing, Envy Bar and Grill, Viking Bank, Team Innovative Services, Clearwater Casino Resort, Tizley’s Europub, James Lumber, Hill Moving, North Kitsap Herald, The Loft, Kitsap Towing, MD Electronics.

43rd annual Viking Fest schedule:

May 20

4 p.m.: Opening Ceremony, Kvelstad Pavilion. Featuring the Naval Base Kitsap Color Guard; Norwegian national anthem sung by the Poulsbo Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus; U.S. National Anthem sung by the Kingston High School Chorus and Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus; introduction and welcome by Shirl Nadeau, president of the Poulsbo Sons of Norway; guest speaker, Mayor Becky Erickson; introduction of 2011 Miss Viking Fest and Miss Poulsbo; Norwegian songs sung by the Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus.

4-10 p.m.: Food/Craft Booths open on Anderson Parkway; carnival open at King Olav Parking Lot until 10 p.m.; entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion; Viking Village open in Waterfront Park.

Entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion

4:30 p.m.: Kingston High School Chorale

5 p.m.: Poulsbo Sons of Norway Leikarringen Dancers, grades K-4

5:30 p.m.: Poulsbo Sons of Norway Leikarringen Dancers, grades 5-12.

6-7 p.m.: Ku-Umba Breidablik Marimba Group

7-7:45 p.m.: North Kitsap High School Band and Jazz Band

8-10 p.m.: Music by “Me & the Boys” (country pop)

May 21

7 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 39th annual Poulsbo Noon Lions’ Pancake Breakfast, at the new City Hall. All funds benefit the Lions’ North Kitsap High School Scholarship Fund.

7:30-11 a.m.: 34th annual Viking Fest Road Race, sponsored by Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation Department. From 7:30-8:45 a.m., check in at Lions Park; 9 a.m., start of 5-Mile Run; 9:05 a.m., start of 1-Mile Run; 10:15 a.m., start of Kid’s Dash on Front Street; 11 a.m., Road Race Awards at Parade Reviewing Stand

10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Food/Craft Booths open on Anderson Parkway; carnival open at King Olav Parking Lot until 10 p.m.; entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion; Viking Village open in Waterfront Park.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Sons of Norway Lodge 44 Scandinavian Luncheon, upstairs at the lodge: Open-faced sandwiches, pea soup, baked goods

11 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Sons of Norway Lodge 44 Membership Drive Beer Garden

Entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion

10 a.m.: Kitsap Kickers Line Dancers

10:30 a.m.: Country Cloggers

11-11:45 a.m.: Poulsbo Sons of Norway Sammendra Adult Folk Dancers

Noon to 1 p.m.: InMotion (all forms of dance, child to adult).

1 p.m.: Leikarringen Dancers of Leif Erickson Lodge No. 1, Ballard.

2 p.m.: 42st annual Viking Fest Parade, downtown Poulsbo, sponsored by Valley Nursery and Central Market

4:30 p.m.: Boot Scootin’ Grannies

5:15-7:15 p.m.: Music by “Planted” (rock, blues and Beatles)

7:30-9:30 p.m.: Music by “JBL” (local cover band)

May 22

7 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 39th annual Poulsbo Noon Lions’ Pancake Breakfast, at the new City Hall. All funds benefit the Lions’ North Kitsap High School Scholarship Fund

8 a.m.: Sunday Services at First Lutheran Church of Poulsbo (big white church on hill above Poulsbo), celebrating the 125th anniversary of the historic Norwegian congregation — 8 a.m., traditional service; 9 a.m., contemporary service; 11 a.m., traditional service including Vestre Sund Mannskor (Norwegian Chorus).

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Food/Craft Booths open on Anderson Parkway; carnival open at King Olav Parking Lot until 5:30 p.m.; entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion; Viking Village open in Waterfront Park.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Sons of Norway Lodge No. 44 Video Presentations: “Greetings from Norway” (PBS series). Free admission. Noon, “Stave Churches” (Old Wooden Norwegian Churches), “Norge Norge” (Photo Portraits of Norway); 1 p.m., “Nordkapp” (Northernmost Town in Norway), “Alesund” (Famous West Coast Seaport); 2-3:30 p.m., “Magic Silver” (Norwegian children’s film with English subtitles)

Entertainment at Kvelstad Pavilion

10:30 a.m.: Poulsbo Elementary School Marimba Group

11 a.m.: Scoil Rince Slieveloughane (Hillside Lake Irish dancers)

11:45 a.m to 12:15 p.m.: Jewel Box Theater’s Poulsbo Players present stories and showtunes, a preview of “Grey Gardens, the Musical,” and professional storyteller Kathy Currie.

12:15-12:45 p.m.: Samara Dancers

1-1:45 p.m.: Heels of Thunder Tap/Clogging

2 p.m.: Annual Lutefisk Eating Contest. Sign up at information booth before noon on Sunday, $10 entry fee, limited to 12 contestants, 18 years and older.

2:30 p.m.: Oyster Eating Contest. Sign up at The Loft Restaurant.

3:15-4 p.m.: KCMT’s Rising Stars & Ignite!, performing musical numbers from their most recent shows “101 Dalmatians” and “Oklahoma!”

4 p.m.: Booths and Entertainment Close

6 p.m.: Carnival Closes

Events located at: Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park, Anderson Parkway, and King Olav Parking Lot, Downtown Poulsbo.

 

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