Traditions take center stage for Viking Fest preparations

POULSBO — With only two weeks to go until Viking Fest is upon Little Norway, Sons of Norway members were busy this week doing what they do best.

Keeping tradition alive.

This week, members of Poulsbo Sons of Norway Lodge #44 were busy at work creating Norwegian delicacies in preparation for Poulsbo’s biggest annual event. Tuesday, a crew was hard at work making lefse, the tortilla-like grilled bread made from potatoes.

The lefse and other creations will become part of the lodge’s annual Scandinavian Luncheon, which is held during Viking Fest. This year, that smorgasbord-style meal will welcome visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 15 at Grieg Lodge on Front Street. During the luncheon, visitors can buy a la carte items like pea soup, lefse, pastries and cookies like the delicate rolled krumkake, desserts like rommegrot, open-faced sandwiches and other refreshments.

Sons Administrator Mariann Samuelsen said all proceeds from the meal benefit general operating expenses for the lodge.

“We are a non-profit and it costs a lot to keep this building open,” she commented. “The money goes to the different things we do, whether it’s culture or youth or whatever.”

Some Norwegian treats made over the next few weeks will also be sold at the Sons of Norway’s booth, which will be on the Anderson Parkway the entire Viking Fest weekend of May 14-16.

Lefse crew head Jane Speer said about 400 lefse alone would be made by volunteer members Tuesday. In fact, all Sons of Norway activities for Viking Fest are completely volunteer led. Everything is hand made in the traditional way.

“A long time,” volunteer Bonnie Olson said when asked how long she’d been making lefse for the Sons of Norway. “We do this several times a year. And next week, we make the krumkake.”

Hazel Watkins, who is very proud of her Norwegian heritage, was taught the art by her parents. She and husband Paul, who have been married for almost 56 years, were at the lodge Tuesday morning to lend a hand. Hazel said she enjoys the work parties and joked that the secret to a long and happy marriage is doing things together — like making lefse.

“We enjoy doing it. It’s a fun thing,” she said. “Everybody has a few good laughs.”

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