Lucia Bride lights Little Norway Christmas

POULSBO — It’s a holiday celebrated the world over, but no town rings in Christmas quite like Little Norway.

The Sons of Norway and Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association are set to officially kick off Yuletide cheer Dec. 1 with an event that is as distinct as it is timeless.

“This is one of those quintessential American small-town holidays where we have a little bit of the old world and new world all mixed in together,” said Sons youth director Joanne Graves. “You name it, we’ve got it.”

Festivities start at 10 a.m. with the lodge’s annual Scandinavian Christmas bazaar. Celebrations on Anderson Parkway, including the lighting of the Christmas tree, the arrival of the Lucia Bride and the lighting of the Jule Log begin at 4 p.m.

Graves said it’s a day-long event many attend as a yearly tradition.

“We just have a wonderful time,” she said.

At the bazaar, hand-crafted items, along with the Sons of Norway Ladies Club’s infamous baked goodies, will be up for grabs, as well as pea soup, Viking dogs, dessert and beverages. The Leikarringen children’s dance group will perform, and there is no cost to enter.

“This is something that the lodge does for the community,” Graves said. “Come down and start your Christmas holidays off Poulsbo-style.”

The fun will continue as holiday spirits move to the waterfront, where Miss Poulsbo Alex Duchemin will switch on the lights and the North Kitsap High School Ensemble will perform a few Christmastime tunes. Lucia Bride Kristina Moseng will arrive and be escorted by Vikings to Kvelstad Pavilion and the Sons of Norway fire pit, where Viking Brian Davis is set to speak the yearly phrase, “Lucia, join with us in lighting this Julefest fire,” officially starting the holiday season for Poulsbo. Santa will also be on hand to visit with kids, and hot chocolate, cider and hot dogs will be available.

Graves said the event is a unique, Little Norway can’t-miss that spans generations and keeps the area’s heritage alive.

“They dress up in their costumes and bring in the bride and light the bonfire,” she said of the Vikings. “They bring in a little tradition and a little history and kind of give everyone a background on why we’re doing this and what this is all about.”

All are invited, Norwegian descent or not.

“We invite everyone to come out,” Graves said. “Regardless of the weather, we will be there.”

Horse and buggy rides will also be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (360) 779-5209.

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