Julefest ushers in the holidays

The Sons of Norway Viking escort Lucia, Brynn Breakey, and her princess Bonnie Foley to light the bonfire at Julefest Saturday night. - Charles Melton/Staff Photo
The Sons of Norway Viking escort Lucia, Brynn Breakey, and her princess Bonnie Foley to light the bonfire at Julefest Saturday night.
— image credit: Charles Melton/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Two days after receiving its first blanket of snow, Little Norway welcomed the season in true Scandinavian style as Julefest came to life.

Miss Poulsbo Janna Murray lit the Christmas tree in Waterfront Park as the Sons of Norway dancers and singers filled Kvelstad Pavilion with holiday sounds, but all the celebrations were a prelude to the arrival of Lucia’s bride.

“It was a wonderful event and the efforts of the service organizations who helped decorate really paid off,” said Sons of Norway administrator Mariann Samuelsen.

One of the more noticeable changes to this year’s event was the sheaves of oats that adorned the light poles throughout downtown.

“We had a lot of people asking about them and I think it is a really nice touch,” Samuelsen said.

The clip-clop of hooves also filled the cold, crisp evening air as the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association unveiled horse-drawn wagon rides through Anderson Parkway, which was another holiday first, she said.

“It showed a lot of our Norwegian culture and really allowed the community to take part in it,” she said, giving much of the credit for the cultural aspect to Sons heritage director Grace Overby.

Having visitors from the Victoria Clipper were another welcomed addition to the festivities as at least 200 people braved the chilly night as they waited for darkness to fall for Lucia to light the bonfire.

Then in the midst of the merriment overflowing the pavilion, the Sons of Norway Vikings began their march from the Sons lodge to dock at the Port of Poulsbo with torches in hand escorting Lucia’s princess, Bonnie Foley, to mark Lucia’s arrival.

As Norsemen lined the pier, the sounds of oars slicing through the water pierced the silent night as Lucia, Brynn Breakey, dressed in white finally arrived.

Then, in solemn silence, she was escorted to the pavilion, where Sons of Norway president Bob Moseng welcomed her and told the audience her story, explaining that she would light the bonfire with a piece of a yule log brought from Norway.

Finally as the Vikings circled the unlit fire, Herald Brian Davis said, “Lucia join with us in lighting this Julefest fire.”

Seconds later the fire was aglow as the holiday cheer carried on well into the night.

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