A Nordic Ballard Weekend

Ballardites: Norwegian events are happening this weekend in downtown Ballard! Even if you’re not into lye-soaked, fermented fish (aka lutefisk), there will be something for all of us to choose from, starting tonight Friday, March 16th, and running through Saturday, March 17th. Here’s a summary of what’s happening, and where to read more information:


Photo: Scott Radford

Tonight from 8 pm-11 pm, the Ballard Elks #827 are hosting Viking Bingo Night for a good cause. Add flair by coming in costume. Or come as yourself. Or better yet, come as yourself in costume. Either way, enjoy cash prizes, commeraderie, drinks and snacks.

Viking Bingo Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2016540948624324/
Ballard Elks site:  http://ballardelks.org/
Ballard Elks Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BallardElks827



Start with a 5k Run at 9 am, then immerse yourself in all things traditional Nordic after that. Does life get any better? Listen to live Norwegian music, learn about the beautiful murals in the Ballard Sons of Norway’s Leif Erikson Lodge, sample or watch authentic Norwegian cooking demos (lutefisk not required), as well as dance, clothing, handicrafts, genealogy, and more.

Funds from the run/walk go toward Leif Erikson Lodge repairs/upgrades and the Ballard Senior Center. Registration/Check-In is at 8 am, Run is at 9 am.  $10 for adults, $5 for children.
Run/Walk’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/178197896127596/


Norwegian Heritage Day Facebook:
Ballard Sons of Norway/Leif Erikson Lodge site:  https://www.leiferiksonlodge.org/

Proudly wave your Norwegian flag, and enjoy a culture that helped shape Ballard!







Indulge your Inner Scandinavian at the Nordic International Film Festival

Yar, Ballard vikings. There’s a way to indulge your Scandinavian selves this weekend. The Nordic Lights Film Festival is happening from tonight to Sunday. You have the opportunity to see 9 feature-length films and a package of short films from January 6th – January 8th. If you see all of them, you might find yourself craving lingonberries, running out of butter, and wanting to shop at IKEA.

So, what can you expect at the 3rd annual NLFF? Unfortunately, no Ingmar Bergman. But, there is a slew of fantastic Scandinavian directors out there, so don’t fret. The Oscar and Golden Globe-winning Denmark movie, “In a Better World,” will be playing. Additionally, “When the Pepper Blossoms” will be presented at the festival; it is about Swedish emigration to Brazil at the turn of the century. Visit the NLFF website to see the full list of movies playing this weekend.

Price-wise, it’s $10 for each individual screening. Or you can purchase a festival pass for $50. There’s also a few discounts. Go here for more info. All films will be shown in SIFF cinema at the Film Center. I repeat – the Nordic Lights Film Festival is NOT being shown in lil’ Scandinavian, Ballard, which would be the rational location. In case you don’t know, the SIFF Cinema Film Center is located in the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms, between the Key Arena and the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Embrace your Inner Ballardite at the Annual Yulefest

I’ve only been a Ballard resident for five years. Every once in a while, when I stand in the shadows of the new residential developments, I forget who originally settled Ballard: The Scandinavians. So, it’s great to have museums, like the Nordic Heritage Museum, especially when it holds Nordic celebrations. This weekend, the Ballard museum is hosting the annual Yulefest, according to the Ballard News-Tribune.

The Yulefest is a museum tradition and a fantastic event for the holiday season. There will be Scandinavian musical performances, with fiddlers, dancers and more. For the kids, there will be lots of crafts and activities, as well as a visit from Santa. The fest will also offer traditional Nordic food, including traditional Scandinavian sandwiches, krumkake (a Norwegian waffle cookie), lefse (a Norwegian potato flatbread), and the popular hot, spiced wine, glögg, as well as Nordic beers.

Yulefest is this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. For more information, check out the Nordic Heritage Museum website. Stop by for some Ballard fun. Skål!