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Viking Fest returns Oct. 1-2


Historical Viking re-enactors and demonstrations will be on display again this year at the Arlington Viking Fest on Oct. 1. and 2.

This is the second year for the festival put on by the Downtown Arlington Business Association (DABA) and it has been expanded to two days with more re-enactors, demonstrations and activities.

Most of the activities will be located in Legion Park from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 1 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 2.

“This is really about the education and the opportunity to learn more about the viking era,” said Dana Fowler, DABA member and chair for the event.

The “Viking Village” will be bigger this year with more demonstrators and re-enactors coming. Fowler said that the re-enactors are always knowledgeable and “know all the history and they can talk for days about it.”

Numerous demonstrations will show skills such as blacksmithing, forging, weaving and casting.

Two professional fighting groups will be on display throughout the weekend, including one that uses real steel in their weapons and wear actual armor (although the weapons are not sharp, said Fowler).

The public will be able to participate in a demonstration of historical defensive formations including a shield wall maneuver.

A bard will travel around and sing throughout the festival and a storyteller will tell Viking-era stories.

A Viking ship from the Sons of Norway in Bothell will be on display at the festival.

Last year’s tug-of-war competition returns as well.

Kids activities, including a craft table and a bouncy house, will be available.

The pub tour for the Viking Festival returns as well. DABA will be running a program with discount ads for stores and the stops of the pub tour, which will have Viking re-enactors visiting as well.

Fowler said DABA started the festival as a tribute to the area’s Scandinavian roots.

“There’s a strong connection to history here,” said Fowler. “This is the site of the biggest 1800s Scandinavian settlement in the northwest,” she said.

The Stilly Genealogical Society will be at the festival to show some local artifacts relating to the area’s Scandinavian roots as well.

The Viking Festival was expanded to two days this year.

“It will help accommodate more people. We’re always busy and a Saturday may not work for everyone,” said Fowler.

It takes a lot of time and work for the re-enactors to come from all across the state, she said, so a multi-day event is better for them.

“They’re always enthusiastic about re-enacting so the more time they have the better,” she said.

Last year was the first time DABA ran the event. The time is one between big events for the area, so the organization hoped to fill a niche for the community.

“It went really well last year and that’s why we wanted to bring it back again this year,” said Fowler.

“Just in general I think there is a lot of interest in the viking life,” she said.

Fowler hopes that the event will continue to grow and be one of DABA’s signature festivals in the future.

“I like that this is unique. There are not a lot of viking-related events out in Washington state,” she said. “And because it’s unique it could have a really great draw over time,” she said.

More information about the festival is available at


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