You don't have to be a Viking to attend the largest Scandinavian festival in North America -- you just have to be prepared to have a great time! Each year, Norsk Hostfest hosts tens of thousands of excited visitors in the North Dakota State Fair grounds in Minot. You can expect to indulge in all things Scandinavian from cultured performances, Nordic food, and even a Viking Village. This year's festival begins on September 28 and runs through October 1, so plan you trip up North today.
Norsk Hostfest is a celebration of everything Scandinavian from all five of the Nordic countries: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. Each of the countries are represented in a designated hall named after their capital, which features activities and food from the area. The best elements of the region are blended together and on display in the Scandinavian Heritage Park. You will leave Norsk Hostfest with a brand new understanding and appreciation of the Scandinavian culture and find plenty of souvenirs along the way.
As North America's largest Scandinavian festival, Norsk Hostfest books some pretty big names for entertainment. This year's performers include Chicago, Big & Rich, Emmylou Harris, and Sara Evans. Besides the musical headliners, there are dozens of Scandinavian performers covering everything from Nordic music, comedy, Viking battles, and dance shows. And of course, you can't miss the annual naming of the official Miss Norsk Hostfest.
Why Do We Celebrate Scandinavia in North Dakota?
While this may or may not be the first time you're hearing about this unique festival, Norsk Hostfest has been around since 1978. It was 39 years ago when the late Chester Reiten, a Norwegian-American and North Dakota resident, and his fellow Scandinavian friends decided to create an event to celebrate their culture. The festival serves as a platform for inducting influential members of the community into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame. Initially attracting just a few thousand people, the event now draws tens of thousands of Scandinavian enthusiasts from around the world and is one of the most intriuging cultural events in America.