Norwegian roots run deep

EVERETT — From the revered king of Scandinavian humor, Stan Boreson, to Edmonds’ travel guru, Rick Steves, you don’t have to look far to find locals who are proud of their Norwegian roots.

Washington is home to nearly 370,000 Norwegian Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — the highest concentration after the Upper Midwest.

If you talk with 100 residents in the county, odds are, eight will tell you they’ve got some Norske blood in their veins.

There are also landmarks and cultural events.

There’s Everett’s Hauge Homestead Park, named for John Hauge, a Norwegian Pioneer who settled along Silver Lake in the late 1800s.

Even though the language is lost for most after a generation or two, at Christmastime, Lutheran churches and Sons of Norway clubs serve up tons of lutefisk slathered in butter with lefse, a Norwegian flatbread, and small potatoes.

Normanna Hall, Sons of Norway in downtown Everett earlier this month played host to two dozen accordion players with Lindesnes Trekkspillklubb from Lindesnes, Norway, the southern most township in the oil-rich kingdom.

More than 200 people were there for the show, one of the club’s largest events in recent memory.

After Everett, the group played in Missoula, Mont.; Denver; and Minneapolis before playing Norsk Høstfest in Minot, N.D., the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.

“This is the first time we’ve put on an event like this, and we’re overwhelmed at the response we’ve gotten,” said Diana Barstad, cultural director of Normanna Hall.”Of course we try to promote the Norwegian heritage and try to carry on as many things like this as we can.”

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