Say Välkommen To The Holiday Season At Yulefest!

Ready or not, it’s officially the holiday season.

The music has started, the decorations are going up, and each night, another house is lit up in the most festive of colors. If you ARE ready for some good ol’ fashioned Holiday cheer (so, basically unless you’re Scrooge?), head down to the Nordic Heritage Museum’s Annual Yulefest this Saturday and Sunday, November 18th and 19th!

Yulefest features all things Scandinavian and all things holiday, making it the perfect event to get in that ’God Jul’ (Merry Christmas) spirit!

 

Enjoy traditional Nordic-inspired items from many different vendors, plenty of delicious Scandinavian sweet and savory treats at the Nordic Cafe (even get some to go for later!) and traditional and contemporary Nordic music and dance will be performed on three different stages.

Kids are encouraged to have fun and get crafty with plenty of kid-oriented crafts,  a raffle and the opportunity to meet the man we all want a visit from in December, Santa Claus (or, Julenissen in Norwegian, Jultomten in Swedish)!

Grown-ups are also encouraged to have plenty of fun and toast the season in the Valhalla Beer Garden (which will be nice and toasty warm!) with a tasty beverage including the Nordic-fav hot mulled wine, glögg. Skål (cheers!) to that!  

This year, Yulefest celebrates its 40th year of bringing Scandinavian holiday fun and flair to our community, and it will be the last Yulefest celebrated at the Nordic Heritage Museum’s current location, before they move on to bigger and better things for 2018.

Yulefest is a wonderful celebration of culture, the holidays and community. If you’re ready for some serious holiday spirit, good food, fun music and maybe even some holiday shopping, Yulefest is the place to be!

God Jul!

Ballard Celebrates 200th Anniversary of Syttende Mai This Saturday

Norway

Despite dramatic changes in Ballard over the past several years, the neighborhood retains its strong Scandinavian identity, which is no better demonstrated than at the annual Syttende Mai (17th of May in Norwegian) parade, a celebration of the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814.

Ballard has been holding its celebration of Norwegian independence for 150 years, and these days the parade, which begins near 24th Ave NW and NW 60th and makes its way through Bergen Place park and down Ballard Avenue through Old Ballard, draws as many as 20,000 spectators. You’ll see drill teams, marching bands, community groups and plenty of Norwegian musical groups such as the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Though the parade is the grand finale of the event, Ballard will be celebrating all day long with music, food, kids activities, and much more! Here’s a sampling of other events happening throughout the day:

10:00 a.m. – Opening festivities with Mayor Ed Murray at Bergen Place

10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m. – Barneleker (Children’s Events) at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Bring your kids for free craft projects and a chance to pet fjord horses!

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Enjoy free admission to the Nordic Heritage Museum all day long and sample Scandinavian food and drinks in the Nordic Cafe.

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Cafe at Leif Erikson Lodge. Food, beverages, wine/beer, programs, flags, DVDs for purchase. Enjoy traditional Norwegian music from the Winter Band and connect with local Scandinavian organizations.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Parade! See the route here.

There will also be music all day long at the Bergen Place stage, see a full lineup and schedule here!

 

Ballard’s Cultural Center Fundraising for its New Home

Although Oslo is over 4,000 miles away, the Nordic countries have a major impact on the identity of Ballard. Although some say Ballard is losing its appeal, the former fishing village honors its Scandinavian history regularly. It is very much a part of being a Ballardite. To recognize its origins, Ballard’s Nordic Heritage Museum will be moving and expanding, becoming a more prominent symbol of downtown Ballard. The Nordic Heritage Museum will be in its fundraising stage for the next six months, as it raises money for the $55 million construction of its new museum and cultural center at 2600-2800 Ave and NW Market St. in Ballard, according to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce.

Expected to be completed in late 2014, the new Nordic Heritage Museum will highlight the past and present of Scandinavian history, as it morphs into a neighborhood hub west of 24th. Looking at early conceptual designs, the future neighborhood hub will resemble a fjord and feature exhibit space, an auditorium, event space, classrooms, a Nordic classroom, and more. It will be three-stories high and occupy 65,000 sq. ft, linking the retail center of Market St. with the business area of Ballard and the Ballard Locks. What I’m especially happy to hear is there is a Finnish native on the architect team, who specializes in Scandinavian design. Staying consistent with Scandinavian design, the new Nordic Heritage Museum will also have sustainable elements.

With the right planning, the Nordic Heritage Museum can have a very positive impact on Ballard. As the only pan-Nordic museum in the United States, it has the potential to be a tourist attraction, as well as an educational center. With all the real estate construction and changes happening in Ballard, it’s nice to know that Ballard isn’t forgetting its roots.