My phone should start ringing soon. It always does this time of year. Come Sunday, I will have had so many offers to head to Decorah for Nordic Fest I won't know what to do! Still, I reserve my trips to Nordic Fest for when my grandchildren and great-grandchildren go. I think Nordic Fest is best experienced alongside youth.
One of the many things I love about Decorah is its ability to get behind an idea. Nordic Fest is pretty much the template for that. If Nordic Fest were a person, it would be quickly approaching middle age! You can't argue with that kind of commitment, and for that I tip my hat to its wonderful host town.
Opening night is such a beautiful thing. The warmth of summer, the street of wide-eyed spectators, the courthouse standing proudly as a wonderful backdrop. I marvel every year at the Nordic Dancers and their skills. Touching again on commitment, isn't it amazing and just downright fun to watch these youngsters agree to something at such an early age and stay dedicated to it for so many years? All for our delight? Bravo to you!
From there the rest of the Fest becomes a blur for me. Every year I tell myself that I need to take a moment to appreciate everything the Fest has to offer, but there is just so much going on every which way you turn! I always need to have my head on a swivel so I don't miss an old acquaintance and yet still be on the lookout for all the festivities and entertainment.
First, there is all the delicious food. I know some like to say that Scandinavian fare isn't always the zestiest, but this old Norwegian farm girl will take it any day! Varme Polsa, krumkake, and a little rommegrot always treat me plenty fine, thank you very much!
Next there is the jewel of Decorah, the Vesterheim Museum. I could spend (and have!) all day taking in the exhibits. I love to look and listen at all the history and the heritage. The displays seem so lifelike, as if I were really back in time rosemaling with my ancestors. What a perfect destination to celebrate one's heritage. My heart swells just thinking of it all!
Last, but certainly not least, there's the old favorite, Pokey Pete. I know I'm coming towards the end of having children with me that like the short train ride, so I always make sure to tell their mothers and fathers to get as many pictures as they can. To top it all off, I read there is even going to be a trolley this year. I've never been on one before, so I plan on taking my maiden voyage! Hopefully, I'll see you all there!