Vesterheim Activities at Decorah’s Nordic Fest

July 28-29, 2017

Enjoy a Vesterheim adventure at Decorah’s Annual Nordic Fest!

This city-wide festival is held each year on the last full weekend in July and includes fun activities for the whole family. The 2017 Nordic Fest will held on July 28 and 29 with Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, July 27. Check back for more details.

Traditions new and old abound throughout the weekend. There is always lively dancing, challenging sporting events, delicious food, and lots of other entertainment. To learn more about other aspects of the fest, call the “troll-free” hotline at 1-800-382-FEST, or visit Nordic Fest.

2017 Vesterheim Highlights (more info will be added soon):

  • The National Exhibition of Folk Art in the Norwegian Tradition shows exceptional pieces of knifemaking, rosemaling, weaving, and woodworking by contemporary American artists.

  • The Newlands Coop - Nordic Roots music by Vidar Skrede and Sara Pajunen.

  • Folk Art School Demonstrators in tents directly in front of the Main Building from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day. Students and instructors of Vesterheim’s Folk Art School demonstrate a variety of folk arts.

  • Demonstrations by Norwegian artists Knifemaker Morten Håkonsen, woodworker Rolf Taraldset, and rosemaler Egil Dahle.

  • Skjaldborg, from Elk Horn, Ia., presents their Viking encampment and will entertain throughout the day with full Viking combat demonstrations. Skjaldborg means “fortress of shields.” Sponsored by Viking State Bank & Trust.

  • Living Heritage Demonstrators: Blacksmithing, knifeblade forging, leatherwork, chairmaking, dovetail chest making, wood carving, pottery, and figure carving. Sponsored by Decorah Bank and Trust.

  • Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library gives advice on family research.

  • Psalmodikon (stringed instrument) demonstrations and ropemaking demonstrations.

  • Woodcut prints by Decorah artist Carl Homstad.

  • Country Gallery Antiques, specializing in Scandinavian antiques—textiles, jewelry, decorated woodenware, sewing tools, kitchenware, prints, and painted furniture.

  • Vesterheim Ribbon-Winning Rosemalers Sales Shop, with rosemaling for sale by Vesterheim ribbon-winning artists. Staffed by Nisse Rosemalers, Postville, Ia.

  • Oneota Weavers and Spinners Guild Sales Shop with hand-felted Santas and Christmas ornaments/figures, hand-woven rugs, scarves/shawls, table runners, and more.

  • Free admission on Thursday - open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • The 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.)

  • And much more!

We had a blast in 2016. Thank you to everyone who visited and everyone who helped over the weekend! Find an album of pictures from that event here.

The Norwegian-American newspaper shared this article about the 2016 event. It was great fun to have them visit.