Scandinavian East Coast Museum to host annual Fastelavn Celebration

Celebrate the good times.

On Sunday, February 23, the Scandinavian East Coast Museum will host its annual Fastelavn Celebration at the Danish Athletic Club. Known as the’ Danish Mardi Gras’, this historic celebration — which is popular in Norway and Denmark — has been making a splash in Bay Ridge for nearly eight years.

When looking for a venue to host the festivities, Victoria Hofmo, president of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, saw the Danish Athletic Club, 735 65th Street, as a perfect fit.

“We realized that they used to hold the event years ago but then stopped. So we recreated it without realizing it,” she said.

The day includes a variety of activities derived from Danish and Norwegian culture. “We play a bunch of games. We try to mix it up every year. There’s a whole dinner and it’s a really nice event. Everyone looks forward to it,” said Hofmo.

Attendees are encouraged but not required to dress up in a costume. “We had a quite a bit of costumes last year. Some of the ones worn in the past were pirates, the Oscar award, Queen Elizabeth, Lady Gaga and soldiers,” Hofmo said. Last year’s event also featured Viking costumes. Prizes will be awarded to those who wear the best one.

One of the more unique activities includes the decorating of branches. “It’s a pre-spring event,” said Hofmo. “So people decorate branches with feathers, take them home and then plant them.”

A piñata will also be included, in honor of the ‘hit the cat in the barrel’ tradition, which is said to represent good luck. Live music will be provided by accordionist Ellen Lindstrom.

Last year, over 80 people attended the carnival and all signs point to the number rising for this year’s event. “People have been contacting me early this year,” said Hofmo. “People that went last year are letting other people know about it.

“Everyone’s welcome. Adults can act like kids,” she continued. “You have the food, the games. What’s not to like?”

Tickets are $30 for adults, $17 for children seven to 17 and $12 for those six years old and under.  For reservations, call Hofmo at 718-748-5950 or Reidun at 718-748-7844.


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