“Kiss the fish….kiss the fish” – chided the crowd to the participants in the Fish Fling contest at the Viking Festival held last weekend at Vista, California’s Norway Hall. Some just had to think of kissing their ex to do that— as in dead fish or cold fish. Most just flung the catfish as far as they could to try to win in this unique contest. Surprisingly a catfish was used not lutefisk as would be expected of Norwegians.
Such was a part of the festivities at this 11th annual event with vendors selling all sorts of products like knives, Celtic jewelry, Scandinavian foods, and Norwegian flags and crafts.
An estimated 2,500 attended this event according to a volunteer preparing lefse for sale. Lefse, as some describe it, is like a potato tortilla.
A “yut” named Knut won one of the horn blowing contests. The horns looking, literally, like a horn right off of a water buffalo, mountain goat, or some such animal---no rhino horns showed up.
Archery and axe throwing were part of the weapon throwing and hands-on part for kids and adults alike. Axe throwing is a little bit out of the ordinary now-a-days except in horror flicks but bow hunting is alive and well in San Diego County.
The “flaming axes at night” show is considered out of the ordinary for most except maybe in a Duck Dynasty dream sequence.
Viking encampments showed off triangular tents of how Vikings used sails off of a ship as the tent tarp.
A Scottish musical group, the Highland Way, led by Scott Brian Caldwell, performed numbers that had the attendees doing chair dancing. Caldwell claimed that Scotland was hit by the Vikings and hence that is where his blue eyes can be traced back to. Other groups performed as well in the outdoor stage area.
Scandinavian history lessons were to be had at every turn with pictures of Norwegian warriors and royalty posted on fences.
Fake Viking helmets (be they knitted with blonde braids hanging down or plastic) were to be seen on numerous kids and adults. A comic twist was kids that pointed the horns downward on their plastic helmets.
Inside Norway Hall attendees had an opportunity to learn how to research their Norwegian roots. They also referenced other local groups like the House of Norway in Balboa Park and Valhalla Lodge in La Mesa to obtain more information on Norwegian activities and clubs.
Visit the Sons of Norway website: www.norwayhall.org for information on future Viking Festivals.
Uff da – uff da ---uff da – a Norwegian phrase adopted by the state of Minnesota and others as a substitute swear word. Expect to see and hear this horrific swear word in more and more rap songs, graffiti on buildings, and….. oh UFF DA – perhaps not. Get your Viking on.