Vikings land in Owl’s Head Park

This Saturday, a fun time was had by families from Brooklyn and beyond in Bay Ridge’s own Owl’s Head Park at this year’s Viking Fest.

The free event — organized by the Scandinavian East Coast Museum (SECM) and sponsored by Councilmember Vincent Gentile, the Norwegian Consulate of New York, the Brooklyn Arts Council, the 17th of May Committee and the Bay Ridge Baptist Church — featured Scandinavian food, games, crafts, rides and entertainment.

Although the event was met with some drizzles, Victoria Hofmo, president and founder of SECM could not have been more thrilled with the turnout; the event even had to start a half hour early to accommodate all the eager performers.

In an attempt to share and celebrate the Viking culture, there was a wide diversity of programming. Re-enactment groups, ethnic dance and musical performances with ties to the Vikings, and even two guest groups from Norway gave it their all at the festival. Also featured was a half-size replica Viking ship, The Norseman, and its crew.

This year, Viking Fest included in the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Harbor Lore Program for 2013, providing storytellers and dancers with the opportunity to present pieces inspired by the sea.

Hofmo was pleased that she met her goal, to “share culture with the largest audience possible.”

And, a large audience it was; people from Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Williamsburg were all in attendance at the festival. Viking Fest even drew a crowd of native Norwegians!

“Vikings attract a lot of people because of their reputation, but their culture is also really important to show,” Hofmo said. “They’re much more complicated than people would believe.

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