North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Viking Fest comes to Arlington

 


Learn about Arlington’s Scandinavian heritage while participating in Viking-themed events at downtown Arlington’s newest event, the Viking Fest and Pub Tour on Oct. 3.

The tug-of-war tournament will be one of the main events of the day, said Taira Knee, chairman of the event and a board member for the Downtown Arlington Business Association (DABA).

Teams of eight will compete throughout the day in an elimination tournament and the winning team will receive prizes worth more than $400 total (they will be awarded individually for about $50 per team member).

Sign-ups start at 9:30 a.m. and the games are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More games including a sausage and anchovies pizza-eating contest will also be held.

Other events include the authentic Swedish Pancake Breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the American Legion, live weapon demonstrations, Nordic hair braiding, activities for kids, and a history center with Nordic artifacts.

Those wanting to take part in the put tour can purchase a “conquering map” and visit Olympic Avenue businesses and pubs.

Those who complete their map are entered into a chance to win a 50-inch flatscreen TV, an iPad Mini and more.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at Whiskey Ridge Brewery, 116 E. Fifth Street. Two waves of the tour will be run and the cost to enter either is $5.

DABA will sponsor the event and this will be the first year for the Viking Fest.

Knee said that the idea started when another DABA board member wanted to make an Oktoberfest pub crawl event, however, some wanted to add a more family friendly element to it.

“The city of Arlington and the Downtown Arlington Business Association want to run events that are structured for the family, so we wanted to get away from solely the idea of a pub crawl,” said Knee.

She worked with city of Arlington officials and eventually got into the history and found some of the Scandinavian heritage in the Stillaguamish Valley.

“We just started talking about some sort of Scandinavian culture celebration and it sort of stemmed from there,” she said.

The event brings a focus on history to the downtown area.

“We are the historic Arlington downtown, so part of this is we’re trying to capitalize on that historic aspect,” said Knee.

It also highlights one of the lesser-known origins of the area, said Knee.

“It is not something you see in this region much. People are not aware of the amount of Scandinavian heritage here and its value to the community,” she said.

DABA officials hope the event can become an annual tradition, although Knee said they will see how well the pub tour aspect is taken this year.

She said much of downtown Arlington and DABA lack fall events. Between Art in the Park in September and Hometown Halloween in October there is not much, she said, and neither of those is run by DABA.

“For DABA, it was important to make one more event for that fall period,” she said.

 

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