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Enjoy a Vesterheim Adventure at Decorah’s Nordic Fest


Tue, Jul 15th, 2014
Posted in All Arts & Culture

DECORAH, Iowa—Vikings, folk-artists, storytellers, radio shows, movies, and more—explore Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, during Decorah’s 48th Annual Nordic Fest, which kicks off with opening ceremonies on Thursday evening, July 24, and runs through Saturday, July 26. Vesterheim will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily with free admission on Thursday, July 24, and special events all day on Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26.



Nordic Fest is a great time for families at Vesterheim. There are many things to do for free on the museum campus, and there will be a special family rate of $25 to the museum’s Main Building on Friday and Saturday. Also, the museum has a new adventure guide, especially for families. Inquire at the museum for how children can explore Vesterheim and earn a prize.



Vesterheim’s Open Air Division of 12 historic buildings is open Friday and Saturday from 12:00-4:00 p.m. to tour on your own with no admission fee. Guided tours of the Open Air Division are at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on Thursday (free) and Sunday (with admission ticket.)





Vesterheim Event Highlights



• Vesterheim’s “National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition” will be on view through Saturday, July 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Visitors can enjoy this exceptional exhibition of knifemaking, rosemaling, weaving, and woodworking by some of the best contemporary American artists. Many of the pieces will be for sale by silent auction. Come and vote for People’s Choice Award. The exhibition is sponsored by Decorah Bank and Trust.



• Outstanding folk artists in the Norwegian tradition will demonstrate their crafts throughout the campus, and there will be many folk art items for sale by various artists and organizations, including the Country Gallery Antiques, the Oneota Weavers and Spinners Guild, and Vesterheim Ribbon-Winning Rosemalers.



• The Sweet Sunny North radio show hosts Cabin Dave and Finn Hall Rob with WDRT radio, 91.9 FM, Viroqua, Wisconsin, will broadcast live at Vesterheim from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 26. They will feature live music and interviews with trolls, Vikings, and artisans! Plus Decorah Scandinavian Jam invites everyone to come learn a tune, share a tune, or just enjoy listening from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 26.



• There will be plenty of storytelling on both Friday and Saturday, including Rachel Wisdom telling the royal love story of King Harald and Queen Sonja at 1:00 p.m., Alison Dwyer giving a presentation on how Vesterheim artifacts are connected to the Disney film “Frozen” at 1:30 p.m., and Dag Rossman sharing Norse myths about Loki the trickster at 2:00 p.m.



• Together with the Oneota Film Festival, Vesterheim will present the Norwegian film “Nordfor Sola” on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and a series of recent award-winning Norwegian short films on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.



• Representatives from the Norwegian-American Genealogical Center will be available from 9:00 a.m.- noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m. to offer genealogical research advice.



• Returning from Knox City, Missouri, is Sam Shoults and his Viking ship replica. The Viking longship “Yrsa” is about 27 feet long and 6 feet wide.



• Vesterheim welcomes back the re-enactment group “Skjaldborg,” from Elk Horn, Iowa. Visit their Viking camp in the museum’s Open Air Division to see how Vikings lived. They will entertain with full combat demonstrations.



• The museum’s Open Air Division will come to life with Living Heritage Demonstrators from Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Watch experts at blacksmithing, figure carving, leather work, knifemaking, woodturning, chair-making, and more.



• Don’t miss the aluminum pour with Decorah artist Kelly Ludeking. On Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. you can create a pattern for your own 4 x 4 inch tile (cost $25). Come and see the molten cast aluminum pour at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. both days. You can pick up your castings two hours after they are poured. There will be free demonstrations throughout both days.





Nordic Fest is a celebration of the spirit of Scandinavia, and includes fun activities for the whole family. Traditions new and old abound throughout the weekend. There will be lively dancing, challenging sporting events, delicious food, and lots of other entertainment. To learn more about other aspects of the fest, call 800-382-FEST, or check out the Nordic Fest website at www.nordicfest.com.



Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center in Decorah, Iowa, shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world. This treasure is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at vesterheim.org, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.

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