Archive for Saturday, October 1, 2011

From Vikings to crafts, festival celebrates Nordic culture, history

Sights and sounds from Saturday's 10th Annual Nordic Heritage Festival at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Music by Theresa Martin, performing on her nykelharpa.

October 1, 2011


A Viking longship deserves a good name, explained “Viking Sam” Raedahl at Saturday’s 10th annual Nordic Heritage Festival at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St.

That’s why Raedahl named the his Viking ship, on display Saturday, “Yrsa.”

Yrsa, you see, was a tough, bold woman from Scandinavian lore. Mistreated by her husband, Yrsa formed an army and out-battled her own husband’s warriors.

“Kicked him out of the country,” Raedahl told onlookers.

Yrsa and Raedahl were just a few of the attractions at the event celebrating everything Nordic, which includes the countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

“We want to share our Scandinavian culture and history,” said Marilyn Myers, event organizer.

Families toured booths, which featured everything from krumkakes to Nordic art, with a few umlauts mixed in.

What exactly is Nordic art? Well, just about anything infused with a Nordic twist.

Over at Ron Scherer’s table, the Nortonville man showed off his “chip carving” woodwork. Scherer explained the Nordic heritage of his chip-carved sleds, which he said were popular in Nordic homes as decorations.

And then there was Lawrence woman Theresa Martin, playing Swedish music with her nyckelharpa, which looks like a low-tech, finely crafted hybrid of a harp and a keyboard.

Martin is a member of the local Swedish dance band “Ingevalds Spelmän.”

“We absolutely love this music,” Martin said.

Giving area residents a chance to experience such unique sounds, tastes and sights was what Nordicfest is all about, said organizer Myers.

“Just a good time,” she said. “And learn more about Nordic heritage."


Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 3 months ago

How did the Nordic people find their way to Lawrence? I don't think there is anything in the article about that, and it would be very interesting to know more. Also, thanks for the great pictures.

BruceWayne 6 years, 3 months ago

he got in some trouble in Colorado...something to do with ripping off some clients.

devobrun 6 years, 3 months ago

17 years ago, I found out that my ancestors came from Stockholm on a tramp steamer in 1889. I found out when I was aged 42. It changed nothing. I am me. I had already defined myself.

Who are you? And why should anyone notice? Because you are Swedish.....or because you built, or fixed something for them that they didn't have previous?

Show up and do the job, who cares from where the job comes.....stop being defined by your ancestors. They would probably hate your cell phone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I bet you find walking and chewing gum at the same time a real challenge.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 3 months ago

devo, Wozer, I bet your a conversationalist. Knowing about your ancestors is facinating.

Robert Rauktis 6 years, 3 months ago

The Vikings pillaged, the way the multi-nationals do now, just SLOWER. Ya gotta do something with a growing population and a short growing season and there was easy pickins down south. If they had carried plague, they would have succeeded in wiping out most of Europe. In Odin's name, of course.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Cool; if the Vikings had stayed on the East coast and the Chinese on the West back in the day, we might be quite a different country.

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