Viking Fest has arrived

 - Joe Irwin/Staff photos
— image credit: Joe Irwin/Staff photos

POULSBO — At least one question will be answered during today’s 39th annual Viking Fest parade: What will Mayor Kathryn Quade be riding?

Last year, she walked alongside an antique boat supporting efforts to reopen the Poulsbo Marine Science Center, but this year she’ll be wheeling down Front Street on her Harley.

“We should have six to eight bikes, and we’ll be carrying the flags from different countries,” Quade said.

Getting the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day off on the right foot, hundreds of runners of all ages and abilities will congregate at Lions Park for the 29th annual Viking Fest Road Race at 7:30 a.m. Despite the early start, the Poulsbo Noon Lions will be a step ahead of everyone else with sizzling hot griddles as they serve up pancakes, sausages, eggs, coffee and orange juice at the Poulsbo Armory on Jensen Way. ll proceeds from the 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. pancake breakfast will benefit the Lions North Kitsap High School Scholarship Fund.

The sounds of children enjoying the merriment of carnival rides and funnel cakes will echo through Anderson Parkway beginning at 10 a.m., and future Oscar winners will make their debuts in Waterfront Park as part of the Let’s Pretend Circus at 10:45 a.m.

The Sons of Norway lodge will be filled with the aromas and culinary sights of yesteryear as it serves up its traditional Scandinavian luncheon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open-faced sandwiches, krumkake and lefse are just a few of the cultural favorites that will be available.

Speaking of culture, the efforts of British transplant and civic do-gooder Bill Austin and the countless volunteers who have labored long and hard at the Poulsbo Marine Science Center, which will be on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday for all those curious about when the center will finally reopen its doors to the public.

One event that’s always open to the public takes place at 2 p.m. today as the Viking Fest Parade meanders through downtown. It’ll be a sight to behold as thousands of onlookers line Front Street to catch a glimpse of not only Miss Viking Fest 2007 Whitney Glebe, but Vikings as well.

In keeping with the adage of saving the best for last, lutefisk eating legends Eric Perkins and Charles Jensen will go ‘fisk-to-’fisk at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kvelstad Pavilion. Jensen ate a mere three and a half pounds last year to reclaim his title, but Perkins will undoubtedly be hungering to unseat the Puyallup resident and bring the bragging rights back to Kitsap County.

While visitors may be slightly inconvenienced by the State Route 305 widening project, no road closures are scheduled during the three-day event as promised by the Washington State Department of Transportation from the project’s onset.

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