Thousands of people are descending on the northeast Iowa town of Decorah this weekend to celebrate all things Norweigan. The 45th annual Nordic Fest runs through Saturday with traditional Norwegian music and dancing, a parade and food.
Fest vice-president Wendy Spilde says one of the highlights is the lutefisk eating contest. “It’s kind of a furry fish with butter. You eat it as fast as you can and put the bowl on top of your head when you’re done,” Spilde explained.
The contest lasts only a few seconds. “I don’t think they swallow it…I think it just slides right down, there’s so much butter involved,” Spilde said.
Sporting events include a disc golf tournament, canoe and kayak races, a 5K walk/run and a 15K run. There’s also a contest dating back to the Viking ages — the Nordic Fest “rock throw.”
Spilde says a famous “Viking” will be part of this year’s parade. Ragnar is the official team mascot for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.
More information about all the activities at Nordic Fest in Decorah can be found at www.nordicfest.com.