VESTERHEIM NORDIC CELEBRATION AND MARKETPLACE

Today I get to write about a fun event that took place this past weekend, the Vesterheim Nordic Celebration and Marketplace!

Elea's Uhl-Tide Creations: elea.uhl@gmail.com

The marketplace featured local vendors and skilled craftsmen with both traditional

Scandinavian items and new items created with Scandinavian inspiration, books, and custom items for sale. There were demonstrations from skilled folk artists showcasing wood-carving, rosemaling, weaving, jewelry making, and music!

Jock Holmen: Norwegian Termite

Ronna Thorson: Rosemaling

Christian Haugen

Dick Enstad: Long Line Cordage

There were also scholarly chats scheduled throughout the morning. The first was Seed Savers Exchange: A Decorah/Norway Collaboration given by Zach Row-Heyveld. This chat was absolutely amazing. If you know nothing about this program I invite you to watch the TED Talks video given by Cary Fowler. The video goes into great detail about the Svalbard Global Seed Bank in Norway and how the program works. The cool thing is that Seed Savers, located just a few miles from Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa (my home town), works with this vault and has placed their seeds there for preservation. Decorah has strong ties to Norway and now they also partner on preserving our world's seed diversity too! If you are interested in learning more about Seed Savers you can find their website here. They work with individuals to preserve seeds so if you have family heirlooms that you would love to be around forever, reach out to them for more information. Maybe your seeds will be the next ones to end up in Svalbard!

Seed Savers Exchange: A Decorah/Norway Collaboration

The second scholarly chat was The Power of Silver: Traditional Norwegian Jewelry given by Laurann Gilbertson. Unfortunately I missed this chat (dang it!) because I was grabbing photos of other parts of the marketplace and time got away from me so I plan to connect with her another time. I heard from others though that it was just as interesting as the Seed Savers chat.

The last program was held over the luncheon and was called Crime, Camaraderie, and Costumes: Unusual Spring Holiday Traditions in Norway and was given by Rachel Peterson. This program was great as it covered multiple examples of how Norwegians celebrate Easter in funny ways. As an example, did you know Norwegians love to read crime novels and watch crime documentaries during the week leading up to Easter? Crime and Easter together? Did you know that they eat boat loads of oranges during Easter? I have read stats saying they consume 4+ oranges per person throughout the entire country during that week. That is a lot of oranges! They also are more likely to head to the cabin and ski than to head to church. Norwegians drink Solo soda and eat Kvikk Lunsj chocolate bars (similar to a Kit Kat) as a necessity and love their Easter eggs probably more than Americans do because one thing they don't celebrate is the Easter Bunny.

Crime, Camaraderie, and Costumes: Unusual Spring Holiday Traditions in Norway

The day was filled with ideas on how to find a koselig lifestyle here in the US. The day itself was very koselig having spent it around people who love Norway as much as I do and love to share their skills with others. I met so many wonderful people at the event and plan to showcase many of the craftsmen and vendors in upcoming posts! Find more information on Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum here!

Hal Bitzer: Bitz of Wood

Katherine Buenger: Buenger Studios: buengerstudios.com

Rose Marie Meuwissen: www.realnorwegianseatlutefisk.com

Dave Swenson

Julie Steller: stellergoods.com

Melissa Grosberg: Red Bone Adornments: www.etsy.com/shop/redboneadornments

Robbie LaFleur: boundweave.wordpress.com

Susan Lyback LSW: www.fjordhavenforever.com

Else Bigton & Phillip Odden: norskwoodworks.com


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