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John Lamb, Published June 26 2013

Weekend Watch: Scandinavian Hjemkomst, Midwest Viking fests combine for Nordic fun

MOORHEAD - Minnesota Vikings training camp is still a month away, but a more authentic Viking camp will be up and running Friday and Saturday. The Midwest Viking and Scandinavian Hjemkomst festivals give modern-day descendants a taste for what life was like for the real Norsemen through the ages.

You can hear about the old times through storytellers and singers, or you can get a more observational approach, watching the blacksmiths, potters, fabric artists, runestone writers and a calligrapher lend a hand to their craft.

If it’s more action you want, stick around for the battle demonstrations to see why Vikings were such feared warriors. Or find the lighter side with Telge Glima, a Swedish cultural group that keeps the games of the past an active part of the present, as they say, “combining history with bruises.” See how the Vikings amused themselves when they weren’t pillaging.

If you’re looking for the more civilized side of Nordic culture, head inside for the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival. There will be traditional folk music as well as contemporary pop stylings. A marketplace displays traditional crafts like rosemaling, wood carving and colorful clothing.

The highlight of any Scandinavian excursion, of course, is the food. The festival will be packed with Nordelicacies, from the always popular lefse to the acquired taste of pickled herring. And take a taste of the old country home with you with a bake sale.

If you go

What: Scandinavian Hjemkomst and Midwest Viking festivals

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Ave. N., Moorhead

Info: Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 13-17 and free for kids 12 and younger. (218) 299-5511.

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533