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Viking Fest bringing big booms

POULSBO Veteran Viking Fest celebrants are used to the bright colors the annual gathering brings to the streets of Poulsbo each May. If it isn’t the decorations on floats and cars during the parade, it’s the bright costumes and uniforms donned by bands, singers, dancers, kickers and — sometimes — runners.

But Friday evening, the skies above Little Norway will once again become a dazzling sight as Eagle Fireworks returns to Liberty Bay to light up the night with some big booms.

“The fireworks show should be the best ever,” said Michael Svardh, Viking Fest vice president of marketing and publicity. “It will be a fireworks show fit for a Viking.”

The Eagle Fireworks presentation, slated to hit the sky just after sunset, is just the tip of the sword and just the beginning of fun and changes that folks can expect at the 2002 Viking Fest.

Tradition will meet technology this year as the Viking Fest Committee pushes its new web site and radio broadcast of the event.

“Vikingfest.org is the center for Viking Fest information from here on out. It’s so much different from last year,” Svardh said.

Interested parties can now go to the event web site to do just about everything from signing up for the 25th Annual Road Race and entering the 2nd Annual Show and Shine Car Show to becoming a sponsor. The entire three-day schedule is also posted.

Additionally, folks can tune into the parade and other events by setting their radio dials to 101.9 FM, Svardh said, noting that a real estate broadcaster will provide live and up-to-date information to listeners in the Poulsbo vicinity.

“We’ll have wireless (microphone) going around, which means more audience participation,” he explained. “We’ll also have three professional announcers, which should be even more fun.”

Saturday’s parade will be announced by radio personality and 1987 North Kitsap High School graduate Daryl Svardh, Portland, Ore. singer and actor Jon Olson and 1981 NKHS graduate, actress and singer LeOnna Small. The 35th Annual Viking Fest Parade will start on Fjord Drive and run north along Front Street, taking a soft right on Jensen Way to avoid construction.

The parade is being taped by West Sound Television and will be broadcast on ATT Channel 12 on May 26 and June 1 at 12 p.m.

Lutefisk, carnival rides, great breakfasts, live music and dancing as well as featured artists “In-Limbo” at Kvelstad Pavilion, will be mixed into the annual celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day. Food booths, water skiers, crafts, movies and presentations will round things out over the May 17, 18 and 19 festival.

“There will be more of everything,” Svardh said.

Well, except for Viking Fest favorite singer and comedian Stan Boreson.

“He’s in the old country learning some new songs,” Svardh joked.

Even without Boreson, there will be plenty of laughs to go around during the huge celebration.

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