Viking Fest 2015 storms into Poulsbo

Old vikings never die — they just move to Poulsbo. (Photo by Andrew Taylor via Flickr)
Old vikings never die — they just move to Poulsbo. (Photo by Andrew Taylor via Flickr)

With The History’s Channel’s hit show “Vikings” inspiring people everywhere to don horned hats and grow beards, “Little Norway’s” VikingFest 2015 gives you a chance to embrace your inner Nord this weekend. 

The 47th Annual Viking Fest offers 3 days of food, drink, live music, and a carnival. Located in historic Poulsbo, on the Kitsap Peninsula, the event offers events and activities for all ages and ethnicities.

One notable event is the festival’s Viking Tour. This cycling tour invites all Vikings to “Trim your beards, shave your legs and get ready to ride.” Highlighting the scenery of Kitsap County, varying lengths and difficulty offer options for any skill level.

Viking Tour Event Director, Dan Barry, explains how the celebration is about “keeping the Viking scene together… and trying to incorporate our towns culture into this ride.

Many Norwegian, Scandinavian, and Finnish immigrants settled in the Puget Sound in the 19th and 20th centuries, drawn to the abundance of timber, fishing, and beautiful scenery it was reminiscent of Northwest Europe.  

“I think Poulsbo, like Leavenworth, has found they want to keep their connection,” says Margene Smaaladen, Viking Tours Volunteer Coordinator. “The reason they settled in Poulsbo is it reminded them of their homeland.”

The three day table of events includes paddle board races, Nordic dancers, and enough meat on a stick to please Ivar the Boneless. If that’s not enough, there’s a donut eating contest, an oyster eating contest, and a lutefisk eating contest back to back to back on Sunday! Prizes include horned helmets, $1000 cash money, and beer.

“Poulsbo’s all about Viking culture,” Berry said “[We’re] trying to incorporate our town’s culture into this ride. It’s important to us.” 

Poulsbo’s Rotary Foundation, and many members of Son’s of Norway Hall, rally every year to celebrate and preserve Nordic tradition. The event is essentially a fundraiser to fund the rotary and help carry the tradition of “providing humanitarian services and promote goodwill around the world,” according to Berry.  

You can find a full schedule of Viking Fest 2015 events here.