Despite the daylong deluge, the beloved Bay Ridge tradition Viking Fest — now in its 18th year — took place on Saturday, May 19 at Owl’s Head Park, 68th Street and Colonial Road.
Viking Fest was sponsored by the Scandinavia East Coast Museum (SECM) which utilizes the festival to celebrate and educate people about Norwegian culture.
Viking Fest also served as a prelude to the Norwegian Day Parade which took place on the following day.
The turnout for Viking Fest — a family-friendly affair with plenty to do for the parents and the children both separately and together — wasn’t as high as it usually is due to uncooperative weather; however, many people still got to experience the festival according to Victoria Hofmo, president of SECM.
“It continued to rain, but we still had some locals, as well as folks from Staten Island, Bushwick, Sunset Park, Manhattan and a family from Norway that I spoke to,” she said
Even with the bad weather, Hofmo believes that the team behind the event was well prepared for the rain.
“Yes, the weather was uncooperative,” she said. “But, as in any event, you plan as best as possible and then filed the curveballs.”
For the younger ones, there were scavenger hunts and workshops with the NYC Heathens. For the adults, there were food options representative of Norwegian heritage.
Additionally, families could dance and sing to traditional music with ethnic DJ Sean Le Fleur. There were also some reenactments put on by various groups including the Society for Creative Anachronism, and Historic Arms. The Heathens also performed for the first time at Viking Fest, engaging in a Nordic Ritual.
Viking Fest was still a success despite all the inconveniences that popped up throughout, said Hofmo, who stressed that organizers of this Bay Ridge favorite were thankful to all those who attended.
“Under the damp circumstances, I was grateful for those who attended, those who came out to perform or partner and those who kept in touch during the day to see if they should come down to perform, as well as those who canceled but informed us and offered their best wishes,” she said.
With the weekend of Norwegian festivities wrapping up, Hofmo says that planning for next year will have to wait for a few days.
“The parade was the next day,” Hofmo said. “I need a few days to rest.”