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Many more come to enjoy the light at Julefest

POULSBO — A more than 20-year tradition in Little Norway once again lit up Waterfront Park Saturday night.

But there’s one new twist — the word is getting out about Julefest.

The annual Scandinavian holiday festival hosted by the Poulsbo Sons of Norway has been celebrated in Poulsbo since the 1980s. Like in years past, this year’s event featured Miss Poulsbo lighting the community Christmas tree, storytelling, music and the procession of the Lucia Bride and Sons of Norway Vikings followed by the lighting of a community bonfire. And, as always, Santa made an appearance at the Kvelstad Pavilion to greet the children in attendance.

Sons of Norway Administrator Mariann Samuelsen said Julefest, like its sister event Midsommerfest, has been growing in popularity lately. This year, despite cool and drizzly conditions, hundreds of people packed Waterfront Park for the celebration Dec. 4.

“All in all, I think it went really well,” Samuelsen said of Saturday night’s festivities. “We had really great crowds.”

And while the influx was partially locals coming down for a good time, Samuelsen said there were some unusual visitors to this year’s event. A Victoria Clipper Cruise Lines tour boat brought a boatload of visitors to Poulsbo for Julefest for the first time. Also, staff from Seattle television station KING 5 were on hand filming a segment on Julefest for Northwest Backroads.

“If Northwest Backroads gets a hold of it, then there’s something there and we need to get working on this,” Samuelsen commented of the event. “I hope that’s what it’s going to do is spark more interest for a lot of the town.”

The Julefest segment of Northwest Backroads will air Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 on KING 5.

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