Vinterfest to be held on February 19

Frolicking Nordic music, dance and dinner was the order of the evening in Vining last week. A total of 115 people gathered to enjoy an evening of Christmas traditions from the Nordic lands.  

The event was held at the Vining Community Center where the stage was a forest of Christmas trees coupled with Nordic Christmas gnomes and the tricky Nordic “elves” that traditionally live in the barn and under the house floorboards and play tricks on the family—like taking one sock, the car keys, a toy and even homework.

Leading the music troupe was Ross Sutter of Minneapolis, Minn., with his button accordion and guitar along with his enjoyable singing. 

Art Bjorngjeld joined him on another button accordion and sang Norwegian songs and English humorous parodies of his Norwegian heritage.  Bjorngjeld’s wife, Mary, demonstrated dancing the hambo, schottische, polka and walz as the ‘band’ played on.

  Marya Hart  of Minneapolis, Minn., accompanied the singing and instruments on the piano keyboard.

Cheryl Paschke introduced a musical instrument most people had never heard of prior to the other week, the nykelharpa (translates to “key violin”). The instrument is played with a bow and has “wooden” keys (similar to a piano), but played with tips of the fingers with the  left hand. It is the national instrument of Sweden. 

The night also included a Norwegian inspired meal for those who attended. 

Leif Erikson of Vining sponsors the Lutefisk and Meatball dinner annually the first week in December.  

Henry Peterson, of Underwood, is president of the Leif Erikson Sons of Norway. General chairperson for the event was Barbara Olson of Vining, co-chair was Wendy Grabow of Battle Lake;  Prize chairperson was Ann Rasmusson of Battle Lake. Among those assisting were Diana and Dick Johnson and Marilyn Harbaugh of Battle Lake, Annette and Jon Wigert, Russ and Pat Juvrud of Henning, Sandy Sanders of Perham, Shirley Gunderson, Ann Schallock and Chuck Olson of Vining.  

Leif Erikson, Sons of Norway of Vining, organized in 1904, presents programs monthly regarding the Nordic countries: Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. Programs focus and the culture and traditions of the various Nordic  countries and includes history and present day information all depending on the presenter and his/her focus.  

February 19, 2022, will be the annual Vinterfest celebration, which focuses on outdoor Nordic winter sports. This year will be ice skating with registration, potluck treats and restful activities plus the skating rink for children and adults of all ages. 

    For more information regarding Leif Erikson or particular events or programs call president Henry Peterson (507) 220-0213 or publicist Barbara Olson at (218) 282-0332.