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Midsommer Fest Saturday at Muriel Iverson Williams Park
POULSBO — Although Little Norway’s Midsommer Fest was founded by a Seattle group more than 30 years ago, Poulsbo has made the traditional Scandinavian celebration its own.
Sons of Norway Vikings and travelers with the Viking Village return to Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park Saturday, keeping a watchful eye over the merry dancers, eaters and visitors.
Grace Overby, cultural director at the Sons of Norway Lodge, said more than 125 children will whirl around the Maistang pole. The Leikarringen dance troupe, traditional Norwegian folk dancers, will join the Bygdedansare (adult) dancers.
Midsommer Fest activities start at 4 p.m., but the Viking Village was set up Thursday through Monday. There will be flower wreath making. Families can meet and learn about Nordic animals. The Maistang pole will be raised, followed by dancing. The Vikings will lead the torchlight procession and light the bonfire around 6 p.m.
Midsommer celebrates the longest day of the year, June 20.
“It goes back to the pagan times,” Overby said. “The planting was so important. [Midsommer was] a time to celebrate the longest day of the year for [when] the harvest came in.”
The festivities include entertainment, and some of the musicians will be brought in on the Bristol Baby, a replica of a gillnet fishing boat used to fish the fjords and seas of Norway — one of eight replicas built in Seattle. The lodge will also have traditional fare available, such as Rommegrot, pea soup and lefse.