Our Trip to the Nordic Fest

After our week in Colorado at the biennial National Staff Conference for Cru, we spent a long weekend visiting family.

Decorah, Iowa

We flew to Minneapolis, arriving just one hour after Jenn flew in from her month of language studies in Bonn, Germany. The next morning, Brian drove us to Decorah, Iowa. This weekend we were joining all my family to celebrate my brother, Jim’s, 70th birthday. My sister and husband (Karen and Cal) have a home in Decorah, Iowa, where Cal grew up. (Karen met Cal when she was a student at Luther College.)

Jim’s 70th Birthday

For many years, Jim would celebrate his birthday with Cal and Karen because the annual Nordic Fest coincides with his birthday. We were delighted to join them this year.

The Nordic Fest

We only did a fraction of what was on the Nordic Fest calendar. Over 10,000 people attend this annual celebration of Scandinavian heritage, culture, and food.

We enjoyed the Norwegian dinner at the Decorah Lutheran Church on Friday night.

Saturday was our fullest day at the Nordic Fest. We only caught a glimpse of the parade because we were interested in the Vesterheim Norwegian-American museum.

For lunch, we sampled Norwegian street food.

In the late afternoon, both Cal’s and Karen’s family participated in the bunad show. One woman flew in from Iceland to exhibit her traditional dress.

After dinner, we watched the Norwegian dancers, made a stop at the local ice cream stand, The Whippy Dip, and watched the fireworks.

Family Heritage

On Sunday, Jim drove Mike, Jenn, Brian, and I around southern Minnesota to a few of our family heritage sites.

For lunch, we celebrated Jim’s birthday with a Norwegian meal. Jim is the only one who ordered lutefisk (lye fish).

Jim and Karen surprised me with a beautiful box decorated in traditional rosemaling as a wonderful early birthday surprise.

Brian and Jenn drove us back to Minneapolis. We spent a day with them before heading home to Orlando.

Be sure to visit our online photo album of our fun family visit with lots of great photos and more descriptions. Most photos are by our talented son-in-law, Brian.

Photos © 2019 Brian Carnell

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