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Posts Tagged ‘Viking’

I have learned about an event in January that is really fun and is soooo Norwegian, the 105th annual “Norge Ski Jump Tournament” in Fox River Grove, Illinois. The Junior Olympic Qualifier K70 tournament will be held on Saturday January 30, with other jumps to be held on Sunday.

Three Norwegian jumpers will be in attendance, as well as jumpers from Finland, Poland, Russia and the USA. Check out their website at www.norgeskiclub.com for more information.

I’ll be there covering the event, and I’ll post my pictures and a story here. If you have ever been to Oslo Norway and seen the jump at Holmenkollen you’ll know that the Oslo jump stands out on the hillside and can be seen from all over the Norwegian capital. The Oslo jump is impressive and also has a great Ski Jump Museum that is currently closed while the jump is being renovated, but will reopen by summer of 2010. I had the pleasure of visiting the museum with a family friend who had jumped as a youth back in the 50’s. He commented several times about how much the equipment had changed.

The Chicago Friends of Vesterheim Committee is pleased to announce that their next event will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, IL. A Nordic Marketplace will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. followed by a Luncheon and Program. The event is by invitation only, but for more information contact the museum.

The sponsors of this site have announced the upcoming “Vinland Seminar” to be held at North Park University in Chicago on October 15-17 2010. The seminar will bring together prominent scholars in Viking Norway history, the Vinland Sagas, and Viking DNA. The seminar will also offer discussions about the history of the Chicago Norwegian and Scandinavian communities, local tours and other activities. More information will be available soon.

If you have an event open to the public that has a Norwegian or Scandinavian flavor let me know and I try to get the word out on this site.

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Every year the Chicago area Scandinavian community gathers at Vasa Park in South Elgin, Illinois. The event brings together organizations from the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic communities to exchange cultural news, share artistic expressions and sing national songs. This years was the 30th anniversary of the event and one of the biggest I can remember. It is such a treat to have so many people with similar interests in the Scandinavian community gathering together for this all day event. The day opened with a flag ceremony and the signing of the National Anthems of each of the Scandinavian countries.

Vasa Park vendors under a canopy of oak trees

Vasa Park vendors under a canopy of oak trees

Several vendors from all over the Midwest and even from the East Coast displayed items for sale. Historical organizations from the Swedish and Norwegian community as well as North Park College had booths to display information about their activities. Some of my favorite booths include the Danish Bakery in Darien (I love the cardamom cake they bake), the Sons of Norway lodge booths and the hand made textiles booths. And of course we can’t forget about the Viking encampment put on by a group called Norsa.

Lorraine Straw at the Viking Ship Booth

The Viking Ship Booth, the ship is open for viewing Saturday September 19, 2009 1 – 4 PM.

Diane Hoven Handmade Hardanger from Diane's Stitches of Baldwin WI

Diane Hoven Handmade Hardanger from Diane's Stitches of Baldwin WI

Viking Encampment

Viking Encampment

Some of my friends at the Nordic Nook said sales were good, I know the number of vendors was up this year from prior years. We saw all kinds of t-shirts, doll bunads, rosemaled items, and lots of Nordic inspired things that you could use as gifts or in your own home. Food was a big item also. I enjoyed having a pølse wrapped in a piece of lefse as well as herring and a “sloppy uff-da”. A couple of us enjoyed a little “water of life” to help with our digestion. Throughout the day various groups entertained us from the park stage, including the Leikarringen “Heimhug” dancers.

The Leikarringen Heimhug Dancers

The Leikarringen Heimhug Dancers

This was a great event and if you missed it this year keep an eye out for announcements for next years event.

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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Our good friend Svein Ludvigsen and his brother-in-law Herulf came to vist the Norwegian community in Chicago this week. Svein represented the county of Troms in the Norwegian Parliament and was the Vice President of the Norwegian Lagting from 1997 to 2001, he was also the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs and is currently the Governor of Troms.

Svein is a golf enthusiast and along with many of his friends here in Chicago (including Don Hoganson) spent several days out on the links perfecting his stroke. A few years ago Svein invited many of us to his home near Tromsø for a day of golf and several days of fun in his far northern community.

I’m not much of a golfer but I do enjoy history and in particular Norwegian and Viking history. Svein and Herulf have been the guests of Lowell and Helen Olberg and the Olbergs suggested that we meet Svein and Herulf at “The Viking”, a ship anchored in a park in Geneva, Illinois. This ship is open by appointment. For tour fees and information check here.

For those of you not familiar with this ship:

The Viking was built at Christen Christensen’s Framnes Shipyard in Sandefjord, Norway in 1892. It was copied after the ancient Viking ship Gokstad that had been excavated in 1880. The Gokstad has been called the most beautiful ship ever built.

The Viking is approximately 76 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 6.5 feet high from the bottom of the keel to the gunwale. Clinker built, its planks are fastened together with thousands of iron rivets. In 1893 the Viking sailed from Norway to Chicago, via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, and became one of the greatest attractions at the World’s Columbian Exposition. It could be see for many years in Lincoln Park near the zoo and has been recently declared one of ten most endangered historic sites in Illinois by “Landmarks Illinois”, a statewide historic preservation advocacy group. For more information please contact the Friends of the Viking Ship.

Lorraine explains to our guests some of the history of the ship.

Lorraine explains to our guests some of the history of the ship.

Svein enjoys studying history and very much enjoys ancient Norsk writings and literature. Lorraine Straw was our tour guide at the Viking Ship and she gave us the grand tour including a peek at some of the plans the group has for adding new interpretive signs, a loudspeaker system and a new fund raising drive to preserve the rivets that hold the ship together. Many of the artifacts from the ship are not located at the park but are instead housed at the Museum of Science and Industry. Two shields from the ship can be seen at the Norsk Museum in Norway, Illinois. (See the article on this site for more info on that museum.)

Lorraine points out repairs made to the ship.

Lorraine points out repairs made to the ship.

Side Rudder

Side Rudder

Later that evening Svein spoke of the passion that Lorraine showed for the ship and commended her spirit for the preservation effort and all of the volunteers that that put work into the site.

Each time I visit the Viking it reminds me of my childhood and the trips we took to Chicago passing the Viking in Lincoln park and my father telling us “there is your heritage, your great-great grandfathers were Vikings and those were the ships they sailed.”

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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After having been available only as a high priced import, we can now offer this beautiful, hardbound “encyclopedia” about the Vikings, their society and politics, as well as the Viking roots of the Norwegian nation, at an unbeatable price. Order directly from our website. Click HERE to purchase.

Viking NorwayAbout the book:
Born out of years of research into one of the most exciting times in North European history by one of Norway’s foremost experts in the field, Viking Norway is the first book of its kind. Not only does it re-examine the outbreak of the viking age, but it also gives the reader a broad introduction to the subject. Read about Leif Ericsson’s discovery of America, “Vikings” at the 1893 Chicago World Fair, Viking martial arts, the ancient norse political (Thing) system – learn about the viking ship – the revolutionary innovation that enabled the vikings to traverse the great oceans, explore, trade and establish themselves as successful, feared and sought after warriros all across the known world.

DELUXE HARD COVER EDITION, GLOSSY PAPER, 405 PAGES, LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED, PRINTED IN NORWAY.

For further information and ordering, please write to info@sagapublishers.com

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