Vista Viking Festival

By Mary Schmidt-Krebs

Get ready to celebrate all things Scandinavian and enjoy an abundance of Viking revelry at the Vista Viking Festival 2012.  Now in its 10th year, the festival will run on Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Norway Hall.

Presented by the Norwegian Fish Club Odin and Sons of Norway Lodge in Vista, the community is invited to see, share and sample a wide variety of Viking and Scandinavian food and beverage items, musical entertainment, outdoor games, arts and crafts and a new Horn Blowing Competition.

The Viking Festival has taken on a life of its own. The word is spreading like wildfire, and there is a lot of excitement for this year’s festival. Bring your family and friends and come early as we are projecting close to 10,000 people this year. This is our 10th anniversary, and the volunteer committee chairs are preparing to put on a great festival!

General Chair Robert Undeim (aka Odin)
Held at Norway Hall, which was built in the 1950s, this year the Viking Festival has expanded into a newly acquired northern territory on the property. Visitors can stroll along pathways enjoying streams, trees, shade and authentic reproductions of Viking encampments. New also this year is a beer garden and a second performance stage.

Lively Musical Entertainment and Games
The well-known Highland Way, an upbeat Celtic band, will perform Scottish and Irish music on both days. Also featured is accordionist Kjell Holmes, the Hardanger Fiddlers, blue grass music by Needle in a Haystack, Lacemakers, Dread Crew of Oddwood, Mike’s Band, Skandia Dancers and the Bawdy Juggler.

The always-popular Viking Log Toss will test contestant’s strength and Viking prowess.  For those brave enough, contestants can try their hand at axe throwing the Viking way. And, back by popular demand, are the Fish Fling and the Battle Cry Competition along with the new Horn Blowing Competition.

A special Kid Zone features hands-on arts and crafts, kid-sized swords and shields, a castle jumpee and fresh popcorn.

An Exciting Viking Village, Smorgasbord of Foods and Plenty of Arts and Crafts
The Festival will feature a Viking Village that offers Viking battle re-enactments and authentic reproductions of early Viking encampments where artisans will demonstrate pewter casting, operating bread ovens and fabric dying and basket weaving.  Several local performance guilds, including Blackwood at Carlisle, Brandenburg, Drafn, Raiders from the North, Vestrfolk and Wolves Ov Odin, will provide exhibits of the life and times from the Viking period.

Tasty menu items offered include homemade Lefse, the ever-popular Swedish meatballs, Krumkakes, crepes, sausages, Scandinavian baked goods and more. The beer gardens will feature local microbrews, wines and the popular Viking mead.

Beautiful Scandinavian arts and crafts, such as horns, swords, cloths, linens, clothes, jewelry, clogs, and cookbooks, both handmade and imported, will be available for sale. There will also be a Heritage Hall where visitors can learn more about the lore and lure of the colorful Viking history.

Tickets are $7 for adults, and children under age 12 are free.  A 2-day pass is $11. Parking is $3. Norway Hall is located at 2006 East Vista Way, across the street from the Elks Lodge and behind Nuevo Dia Church. There is additional parking a block south of the festival.

For more information visit or call 760-724-6592.