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Lords of the helm! Viking fest welcomes swords and Swedes

Brooklyn Daily
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They are Vikings for a day!

Raiders from the 11th Century will sail into Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge for the 17th Annual Viking Fest on May 20, when three different medieval re-enactment groups will swing their swords, bash their shields, and pound some knowledge of Nordic history into the heads of watching youngsters. The festival will welcome horned helmet enthusiasts from the groups Historic Arms, Medieval Scenarios and Recreations, and the Brooklyn chapter of the Society For Creative Anachronism — each wowing the crowd with their medieval and Viking re-enactments. But have no fear — members of the audience are unlikely to get skewered with swords, said the organizer of the festival.

“I hope not, but shish kabobs are a very popular dish in our neighborho­od,” said Victoria Hofmo, president of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum.

During the Festival, kids can run around the park searching for medieval treasures during a Viking Treasure Hunt from 10 am until noon, when the traditional musical performances start. One the stage this year will be Ellen Lindstrom of the Swedish Meatballs, the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance, Clann Eireann Pipers, and Young Dancers in Repertory.

The festival will also feature traditional Scandinavian food, and a replica of a Viking ship and its crew, named the “Norseman.”

The event is such a big attraction that families of Norwegian descent flock to the park from across the country and from across the pond, said Hofmo.

“It’s been interesting to see how far it’s come, how much of a reach it has. It’s become a destination that weekend,” she said. “And it’s now attracting people from Norway.”

Participants at the historical festival will teach youngsters about the Viking invaders who plundered medieval villages, and the kids have a blast while learning, said Hofmo.

“I hope people come down and have a good time,” she said. “I think it’s a fun event because it attracts all different ages and all different backgrounds and I think it has the right amount of kitsch and education.”

Viking Fest at Owl’s Head Park (68th Street and Colonial Road in Bay Ridge, www.facebook.com/Scandinavian-East-Coast-Museum). May 20, 10 am–5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, May 16, 2017
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