21 Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge members & friends were off by chartered bus (Whidbey Seatac Shuttle & Charter) to the Nordic Heritage Museum’s 27th annual Viking Days festival on July 17th — and ya betcha they had a good time! For some, it was their first visit to this wonderful museum and annual event, and the festivities (and edibles such as Swedish meatballs, Norwegian lefse, & Danish æbleskiver) nicely complimented a walk through the museum’s exhibits.
Viking Arts & Crafts – weaving, spinning, woodcarving, cooking – and live Viking battles were of particular interest to many, and the music on the Nordic Spirit Stage seemed to please all. The Ravenstead Vikings were also on hand all weekend clad in their authentic costumes, showing Viking Days visitors all aspects of Viking life in their small encampment.
Particularly impressive within the Museum was the new exhibit Somebody’s Grandma, which will run through September 5th. This exhibit explores themes of heritage and identity through first person interviews on video screens throughout the exhibit rooms, where portrait photographs of those interviewed are also displayed. It takes some time and perhaps demands a return visit to appreciate this exhibit fully, but any amount of time spent viewing it is time well spent. Also impressive as well as being very enjoyable on this special weekend was a performance by Living Voices. This organization ‘brings life to history’ through dynamic solo performances uniquely combined with film and sound that turn history into a moving, personal journey. Performer Rachel Atkins treated us to the story a Swedish family’s immigration to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900’s – through the voice of Julia Berg, one of the young adults in the family. This production –Northwest Passages – was created by drawing heavily on resources available from the archives of the Nordic Heritage Museum.
More information about this great Museum may be found on their website.