Category Archives: 2014

Syttende Mai!

Want to know what Syttende Mai is all about and have some fun as well?  If you do, the place to go on the 17th of May this year is Ballard, in Seattle. All the information you need to make the most of the day may be found on the  Seattle’s 17th of May Committee website .

jsw_img_0469Last year, about 20,000 people lined the streets there to watch more than 100 groups – including marching bands, Norwegian-American lodges, drill team, classic cars and much more —  participate in the Syttende Mai parade. It was impressive!

Seattle’s first Seventeenth of May celebrationjsw_img_0418 took place in Seattle in May 1889, before Washington became a state in November and before the Great Seattle Fire in June.   More about the history of Syttende Mai may be found at

Other U.S. cities that celebrate in a similar major way include Brooklyn, New York, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Stoughton, Wisconsin.

“Hipp, Hipp, Hurra!

A Nordic Christmas party for children

2012 JulefestWhidbey Island Nordic Lodge members are opening their doors to young children in the Coupeville area on Sunday, December 7th from 1:00pm – 4:00pm for a festive celebration of Nordic  Christmas traditions.  There will be singing and dancing to traditional and modern music.  There will be a Mrs. Claus telling stories of nisse and tomte.  Children will play games.  Santa Claus may make an appearance.   All young children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information about this event,  please email Emilly or Dick.


At the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge monthly  meeting on Saturday October 18th, Bothell Lodge members Chris & Bill Hicks will tell those present all about Trollhaugen, the beautiful recreational facility in the Cascade Mountains that is owned by District 2 Sons of Norway Lodges.  If you are looking for a place to stay while enjoying Fall colors or thinking ahead to some skiing or other fun in the snow this winter, this is a meeting you’ll not want to miss.  Nordic Hall, 10:00am.  A short business meeting will proceed the meeting.

Lodge’s September monthly program will focus on the Sons of Norway organization

The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge begins its new Lodge year on Saturday, September 20th with an informational program about the Sons of Norway, its sponsoring organization.

Although Whidbey Lodge members are known for their focus on things Nordic not just Norwegian,  this program presents an opportunity to members  and those considering membership – to learn more about the benefits available to them through their sponsoring organization.

This special meeting is open to all who are interested.  A special breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m.  The meeting & program will begin at 10:00 a.m..  Non-members who wish to attend the breakfast should RSVP to

At the Nordic Hall,  63 Jacobs Rd., Coupeville.


Celebrating the solstice Scandinavian-style

On June 21st a slightly different kind of celebration of the summer solstice took place about a mile south of Coupeville just off Jacobs Rd.  Lodge members and their families & friends gathered together for a midsommarfest – surely the most popular festival in Scandinavia other than Christmas.  A great occasion for Lodge members to celebrate their heritage as well as have a good time!

jsw_img_0873_croppedLodge member Vern Olsen was there with his accordion and Pat McMonagle, well-known folk dance instructor in the Seattle area, was there to teach folks some new dances and join in with them on dances they already knew.  Some folks played Kubb (a game claimed to date back to the Viking age) out on the lawn, others played horseshoes.  All feasted on pølse med lompe accompanied by various side-dishes & desserts and all had a great time!

Highlights of the afternoon were the raising of the maistang (maypole) and a troll trail!

Members arrived a bit early to decorate the maistang, and the raising of the pole about 3pm marked the start of the festivities! (In other countries a maypole is usually raised on May 1st).

Click on any photo to begin a slide-show.

The Troll Trail, featuring rock trolls imagined & created by member Cherie Iverson & a few other troll devotees, took folks around a beautiful loop trail in the forest adjacent to the Nordic Hall.  It was a hit!

Click on any photo to begin a slide-show.  Enjoy!
Photos were provided by Marcia Comer, June Fitzpatrick and Joan Gerteis.

Nordic Lodge turns 13

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On Monday, May 19, the Whidbey Island Lodge turned 13 years of age!  To celebrate its birthday – and Syttende Mai as well – the Lodge held a celebratory dinner  for members and their families and friends.  Good food, music and conversation was enjoyed by all!  Monday’s celebration was also  the first Lodge birthday & Syttende Mai  to be held  in the  Fritz Cornell Nordic Hall.  Construction of the new Hall was completed in June 2013.  Thanks go to member June Fitzpatrick for the photos.   Hip Hip Hurrah!

Language learning opportunities

Now that a Norsk Samtalegruppe  (Norwegian Conversation group) is now launched and meeting the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at the Lodge’s Nordic Hall, it appears a good time to say something again about a great online language learning resource available on our Sno-Isle Libraries website and to recommend still another online resource that was tracked down by one of our conversational group members.  Both resources can further help you sharpen your language skills..

The online language resource available from our local library via their website is Mango Languages. To get to this resource first go the Sno-Isle Libraries website.  On the horizontal orange bar that extends across the Home Page, left-click on Research, then left-click on  the box that says eLearning.  Once on the eLearning page, scroll down the list of resources to where you find Mango Languages, and left-click on it.  [ Mango Languages is the fourth resource in the list].  At this point you will be asked for your Sno-Isle Libraries card number and password.  Once you have entered that information, you will be connected to the Mango Languages start page where you can create an account, or do a ‘quick start’ to try it first. You’ll want to create an account though – and use it!  Mango‘s Norwegian Conversations uses real-life situations and actual conversations to effectively teach you the language. By listening to and repeating after material designed from native conversations, you’ll not only learn the individual words and phrases, you’ll know how they’re used in practical situations and conversations.

The second online resource is called Norwegian on the Web – NoW –  and can be found at is an online course in entry level Norwegian, where all the teaching aids are integrated on one website, free of charge. NoW has been developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, by experienced instructors.  The course is designed for foreign students at NTNU, but it is open to anyone wanting to learn Norwegian.

Try both these resources!  And perhaps stop in for Norsk Kaffe Tid some Thursday at the Nordic Hall!