44th annual Norsk Høstfest festival underway

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:38 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D (KMOT) - Vendors are preparing for Wednesday’s 44th annual Norsk Høstfest at the North Dakota State Fair Center.

Trolls line the marked walkways and the giant kransekake statue is out.

Ildiko Wagoner, co-owner of Roger Wagoner Designs, said before she called the United States home, she lived in Budapest. She said this festival reminds her of it.

“It’s an experience. It’s not just a festival. It’s much more than that. Friends come together, and we see each other once a year,” said Wagoner.

She and co-owner Roger are experienced at setting up. It’s their 12th time at the event, which is said to be the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.

Some people travel across the country to set up shop.

Diane Christner, co-owner of Which Craft?, brought hats, gnomes, and trolls from Colorado.

“It is organized, but it’s still a mess to me. It’s not set up yet. Takes us all day to set up,” said Christner.

McKenzy Braaten, chief communications officer for Epic Events, said the staples are back and there are 44 new attractions, too.

“It’s visiting Viking Village and checking out the blacksmith. It’s finding a troll and taking a picture by a troll,” said Braaten.

The Million-Dollar Quartet performs Wednesday, and each hall will have free stage entertainment.

“This one has more concerts, more vendors that have food that you can try of the nationalities,” said Christner.

Braaten said this year there are more than 200 vendors and about 800 volunteers.

Parking is free this year and shuttle services are offered through Minot City Transit.

More details are available at hostfest.com.