Viking Fest on Saturday celebrates Arlington’s heritage

ARLINGTON — It’s time to conquer the town.

The first Arlington Viking Fest and Pub Tour is Saturday, with daytime activities for all ages and an evening of music, costumes and drinks for adults.

“We figured it would be family friendly for the day and then the 21-and-over crowd can stay out in the evening,” event chairwoman Taira Knee said.

The festival was put together by the Downtown Arlington Business Association to draw people to local shops and celebrate the Stillaguamish Valley’s Scandinavian heritage.

Knee and city recreation manager Sarah Lopez worked with groups like the Sons of Norway, Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum and Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society on the history element of the event, Knee said. Volunteers with the museum and genealogical society are scheduled to be at the festival with more information. Guests from the Vikings of America, who appear in other festivals and fairs around the state, also are participating.

Like marauders of old, locals and guests are urged to rally their troops and take over downtown. Event maps guide participants around businesses on or near Olympic Avenue and people who “conquer” all of the landmarks by visiting them and getting stamps can win a 50-inch flat screen television or an iPad Mini.

There are two waves of downtown conquest, one in the daytime and one in the evening. It costs $5 to enter each. The first wave is 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m. and the second starts at 4 p.m. and ends around 10 p.m., Knee said.

Daytime activities include a Swedish pancake breakfast, games like hammerschlagean, kubb and tug-of-war, and a Viking encampment at Legion Park. Live weapons demonstrations, hair braiding, children’s activities and a pizza eating contest also are on the agenda, along with a history display in the Arlington City Council chambers.

In the evening, live bands, raffles, games and a costume contest are part of the fun for adults. There also will be themed drink specials like mead and “Viking Blood” cocktails, Knee said.

“You’re not going to want to miss it,” she said. “There’s going to be so much to do and so much fun.”

Volunteers already are planning to continue the event next year, she said.

“But you don’t want to miss the first year,” Knee said. “There’s so much passion and excitement during a new event like this.”

For more information, including a full schedule, visit arlingtonvikingfest.com or find “Arlington Viking Fest and Pub Tour” on Facebook.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com

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