POULSBO — It rained and the air was chilly, but Poulsbo families braved the winter-like weather to see Santa Lucia keep the winter fire going.
The Sons of Norway and the City of Poulsbo hosted the annual Jule Fest, a traditional Norwegian winter celebration, Dec. 1 at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. Beginning at 4 p.m., the North Kitsap High School jazz band entertained the crowd, but soon had to scoot to their fundraiser concert at First Lutheran Church. The lodge's choir, Vestre Sund Mannskor, sang Norwegian folk songs while the crowd was invited to dance around the Christmas tree next to Kvelstad Pavilion.
The water was too choppy to escort the Lucia Bride by boat, per tradition, but the Vikings escorted her safely to the bonfire through the park.
First-time Jule Fest visitors Heather Myllenbeck, Kristin Myllenbeck, Heather Valencia, Elof Peitso and Dan Wachtler from Seattle donned Viking hats (with horns) and watched the festivities.
Supporters of the Positive Fight Mode fundraiser for Poulsbo's Ian Gunnell talked to many in the crowd about the upcoming fundraising concert, Friday at Gateway Fellowship.
Children were also able to share their Christmas wishes with Santa after the bonfire was lit.