Viking Fest seeking long-term commitment

Everybody loves it. Nobody wants to host it. Viking Fest, an annual tradition since “Hey Jude” was at the top of the music charts, is desperately in need of a home.

There are many parties involved and each has much to lose.

On one hand, the downtown business owners are thrilled to host the parade, which brings sidewalks full of people to the downtown core. This thrills business owners.

On the other hand, there is the festival’s less-loved sister, the Viking Fest carnival. Old Viking Fest, where public-service organizations like the Kiwanis and Sons of Norway set up shop, is still welcomed in the downtown core.

It’s the carnival, with its generators and large, space-hogging attractions the merchants want to see relocated.

Business owners have petitioned to move the carnival away from its usual location, the Anderson Parkway parking lot, as customers come, park, see and don’t spend. This displeases business owners.

Businesses owners love the parade but hate the carnival. Because of all the issues thriving independent business owners have to face to stay alive in a slowing economy, being closed one weekend could result in detrimental financial damage.

A location for the carnival has been a topic of conversation for many months. The Viking Fest board, which oversees the planning and organization of the festival, is trying to please everyone.

And in the course of that, they’re pleasing no one.

The Viking Fest committee has proposed moving the carnival to Poulsbo Village on Seventh Avenue this year, which came as a bit of a surprise to the Poulsbo Village merchants.

With only a few months before Viking Fest, the event organizers are still floundering for a location. No matter where they turn, someone is going to be inconvenienced.

In the fracas, one group is being forgotten — those who look forward to Viking Fest’s parade and carnival — all year. This is merely a case of something, somewhere has got to give.

The Community Services Committee is inviting public comment. If anyone has a solution, let’s hear it.

A special meeting to continue the discussion is planned for 3 p.m. Jan. 23 at City Hall.

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