You don’t need to travel far to experience the best of Scandinavia!
Have you been to any Nordic countries? I’m talking about Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. I’ve ticked a few of those countries off my list, but maybe you haven’t had the chance to visit this area of Europe. Or perhaps you’re like me, and you love Scandinavian culture and want to experience more of it. Well, you don’t have to leave the USA or the continent of North America to savor the sights, sounds, and tastes of these Nordic nations. Norsk Høstfest is North America’s largest Scandinavian festival and it takes place annual in Minot, North Dakota, USA.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT NORSK HOSTFEST
At Norsk Høstfest, you will encounter the biggest celebration of Scandinavian culture in North America. Norsk Høstfest translates to “Norwegian Autumn Festival”. Over 60,000 visitors, mainly from the USA and Canada, flock to the festival for the attractions, shopping, concerts, classes, and more. Here’s a taste of what you’ll discover.
There are many attractions and reasons to visit Norsk Høstfest. At the Viking Village, you’ll be entertained as you learn about viking traditions and folklore. Trained warriors will battle it out as you witness the clashing of swords and shields. You’ll have the chance to try Viking archery with handmade longbows. Check out traditional and creative dying methods for vibrant clothing.
The Tromsø Cultural Village is the place to learn Nordic crafts and survival skills. There are several enriching experiences, including felting, rock-trolling (creating trolls from pebbles), and even venturing inside a Chippewa tepee.
The Nordic Kitchen features Scandinavia’s finest chefs and food delicacies. You can even chat to the chefs before and after their cooking demonstrations.
Norsk Høstfest is where you can shop for Scandinavian gifts without having to travel to the Nordic countries. In their international marketplace, you’ll be able to purchase unique items that you won’t find at your local shops. These include: Swedish clogs, Ekelund linens, Stoneware pottery, Viking helmets, Scandinavian books, Fine Norse jewelry, Finnish saunas, and so much more.
MUSIC AND CONCERTS
There’s entertainment and live music throughout the entire festival. Norsk Høstfest is home to the Great Hall of the Vikings. With the purchase of any Great Hall of the Vikings show ticket, you’ll receive free general admission to the whole festival.
This year’s artists include:
- The Beach Boys
- Michael Bolton
- Engelbert Humperdink
- Daniel O’Donnell
There’s also loads of free entertainment all day long throughout Norsk Høstfest.
Skilled instructors at Høstfest University offer a hands-on learning opportunity in small classroom settings. You can learn Scandinavian folk art, like wood carving, fiber arts, jewelry design, rosemaling, and more. Along with the assistance from an expert, you’ll be able to take your completed project home with you.
WHY MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA?
Norsk Høstfest was created by Chester Reiten and several friends who wanted to keep the spirit of their Scandinavian heritage alive and well in their town of Minot, North Dakota. They aren’t the only ones hailing from Nordic countries; about 40% of Minot comes from Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Finland. While Chester and his friends came from Norway, they encompassed all Scandinavian culture into Norsk Høstfest and it became a massive success. The festival celebrates its 41st year in operation in 2018.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO NORTH DAKOTA
This year, Norsk Høstfest runs from September 26-29, 2018.
You can purchase tickets directly from the Norsk Høstfest website. General admission starts at $40 for adults, $25 for college students, $10 for teenagers, and children 12 and younger get in for free. There’s also a special promotion where tickets are only $15 after 4pm. Concerts at the Great Hall of the Vikings range from $67-100 depending on your seat.
WHERE TO STAY
Minot, North Dakota has dozens of hotels, ranging from budget to luxury. The official hotels of Norsk Høstfest are:
- The Grand Hotel (see photos and read reviews)
- Hampton Inn & Suites (see photos and read reviews)
- Sleep Inn & Suites (see photos and read reviews)
Whether you’re curious about Viking heritage or have wanderlust for Scandinavian countries, it’s worth the trip to Minot, North Dakota!
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This post is sponsored by Norsk Høstfest.