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Viking Village will land in new location

POULSBO — When hordes of Vikings storm the shores of Little Bay during the 39th annual Viking Fest, they will probably land in a new location.

But the reason for the change is about as interesting as watching the grass grow. Literally.

Traditionally, Vikings from Glam Folk pitched their tents near the Sons of Norway fire pit just north of Waterfront Park’s Kvelstad Pavilion. That area, a maze of rebar, dirt mounds and rock a few months ago, was recently seeded after the completion of the new bulkhead and other improvements, which included new sidewalks and better beach access.

The city is now considering two alternate sites for the May 18-20 event, the south end of Waterfront Park near the Port of Poulsbo or American Legion Park, which is just a stroll away along the boardwalk north of the Sons of Norway lodge.

“I just can’t feel comfortable having them camp on the new grass,” Mayor Kathryn Quade told Viking Fest secretary Kathi Foresee at Wednesday’s city council community services committee meeting. “The grass is a priority.”

“We don’t know what it will look like in five weeks,” said city parks and recreation director Mary McCluskey. “There are few other areas that have thick grass.”

Among those spots is the space between the park’s restrooms and the pavilion and the picnic table area at the south of the end of the park, she said.

Foresee informed the committee that festival organizers have already planned to have the Pretend Circus, which was a huge success last year as it gave younger kids the opportunity to wear circus costumes and put on shows for their families and friends, occupy the area between the pavilion and restrooms.

This would leave the picnic table location as the only available space in the park.

“We need to talk to Gary (Jones) (Viking Fest president) to see where he can put that,” Foresee said.

Another alternative would be to move the Vikings to American Legion Park and have signs directing visitors to the new location, McCluskey said.

“It would be a great way to see both parks,” she said.

Councilwoman Connie Lord and Councilman Ed Stern said having the Vikings at American Legion Park appears to be the most logical option.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Lord said.

Councilman Mike Regis also threw his support behind the idea and expressed his hope that the boardwalk would be decorated in true Viking style to encourage visitors to make the trek to the village.

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