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Norwegian Christmas

December 2, 2023 @ 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Norwegian Christmas Celebration

December 2, 2023
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Kick off the holiday season with the annual Norwegian Christmas celebration at Vesterheim!

Activities in Heritage Park, Bethania Church, and the Commons are free, and admission to the museum’s Main Building is free for youth under age 18. (Don’t forget that families with EBT cards and Luther College students and staff receive free admission.)

Enjoy traditional festive family activities!

• A juletrefest at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (Norwegian Christmas tree party of singing around a decorated tree) with a visit from the Julenisse in the Commons!
• Real goats from the Lost Pine Farm in Decorah, Iowa, thanks to Mike and Erin Ryan in Heritage Park.
• Mulled cider and hot coffee and Scandinavian s’mores around a fire (ask for gluten-free ginger snaps or vegan marshmallows), plus bites of traditional Norwegian lefse treats on the Commons patio.
Julebukker, costumed folk who roam the museum complex scaring away evil spirits, and young julenisse playing tricks around campus.
• Hands-on crafts – Scandinavian heart baskets, yarn nisse dolls, julenek straw wheat ornaments, and paper crafts in the Main Building and Commons. Plus ArtHaus will be available for face painting! In the Main Building and Commons.
• Face painting by ArtHaus on the Commons patio.
• Selfie Op with the giant wooden nisse on the Commons patio.
• Decorah’s Nordic Dancers will sell plates of assorted Norwegian cookies on the Commons patio (10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.).

Schedule of Live Music

Bethania Church:
10:30 a.m. – Northern Lights
11:00 a.m. – Decorah Chorale
11:30 a.m. – Decorah High School Madrigal Singers
1:00 p.m. – Luren Singing Society

Ship Gallery in Main Building:
12:00 p.m. – A Touch of Brass

Throughout Campus:
2:00-3:00 p.m. – Eden Ehm playing Hardanger fiddle

Folk Art Demonstrators:

In the Main Building:
Rosemaling: Ruth Green (10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)
Rosemaling: Sally Stromseth with Lea Vestecka (2:00-4:00 p.m.)
Straw Wheat Ornaments: Beverly Schrandt (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)
Knitting: Jane Addams (10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)
Weaving and Spinning: Members of Oneota Weavers Guild (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)
Lucet Braids: Mary and Bob Lake (12:00-2:00 p.m.)

In Vesterheim Commons:
Woodworking: Kim Glock (10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)
Woodworking: Rebecca Hanna and Steph Hughes with Youth Whittling Klubb students (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)
Hardangersøm Embroidery: Renee Thoreson (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

In the Museum Store:
Watercolor Painting: Sharon Christensen (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Holiday Shopping

• Museum Store open 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
• The Oneota Weavers Guild in the Westby-Torgerson Education Center selling mittens, scarves, Santas, knit decorations, weavings, and more!
• The Norman Borlaug Foundation (NBHF) selling julenek in Heritage Park, sheaves of wheat, grown from Borlaug wheat. In Norway on Christmas Eve, julenek are hung outside to feed the birds. NBHF uses the proceeds of the julenek sales to support supplies for their food program that packages meals for people in areas of the world with food scarcity.
• Rolf Svanoe will be in the Museum Store from 1:30-3:30 p.m. to sign his new book The Rømmegrøt Diet: Reflections on the Norwegian Immigrant Story.
• Many of the demonstrators will sell their craft.

Vesterheim’s Norwegian Christmas event is supported by a generous gift to the Vesterheim Annual Fund from Neal and Gerry Nottleson. Music during Norwegian Christmas is supported by Mike and Diane Schmidt. Youth activities during Norwegian Christmas are made possible by the generous President’s Circle membership support of Bob and Mary Lake.


December 2, 2023
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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