Poulsbo is in Washington State and is renowned for its long connections with Scandinavia and Norway in particular so it is probably not surprising that there are many cultural events that celebrate the town’s Nordic heritage. These include one of the biggest events of the calendar year, the Viking Fest which is held during the third weekend in May each year and runs in conjunction with a number of other related events in the area all of which celebrate Poulsbo’s Proud Norwegian Heritage.
The main event promises a variety of entertainment, local artisans and many of the town’s restaurants will have booths each day of the festival serving traditional Norwegian food and drink while the Viking Village focuses on the way of life for Vikings in 1500 A.D. gives 21st century visitors a fascinating glimpse into how their ancestors lived in a far off land hundreds of years ago. One of the highlights of this event is the Viking Fest Parade which is enjoyed by young and old alike with creative floats, local marching bands, and impressive military entries to keep the crowds enthralled. The Viking Fest Road Run is another popular event which is held on the Saturday and this is sponsored by the City of Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation Department. This is a fun race that the whole family can participate in as it features a 5-mile course, a 1-mile course, and Kid’s Dashes so there are events for all ages and fitness levels or alternatively you may opt to watch the runners from the sidelines as a spectator instead!
The month of June sees the Kitsap Medieval Fayre take place in Port Gamble with costumed squires, knights and their ladies participating in a day of merriment and entertainment that includes jousting and jesting with vendors selling local crafts and refreshments. Summer months have a great deal to offer too starting with the St. Hans Mid-Sommerfest a the Scandinavian tradition that celebrates the Summer Solstice and this is also held at the waterfront and includes folk dancing displays and the opportunity to meet breeds of Norwegian and Icelandic dogs. The event culminates with the Viking Parade, lighting of the Bon Fire and Midsummer proclamation by Sons of Norway Vikings and is a popular attraction for both local residents and visitors alike. The Kitsap Arts & Crafts Festival takes place during the last weekend in July at the Kingston Marina. In August, Port Gamble is host to the 8th Annual Maritime Music Festival with lots of live bands and musical performances for the whole family to enjoy and the Forest Festival/Old Mill Days is also held here at the end of September, followed by the Fall Festival early October. The former has a carnival, logging shows, logging demonstrations and a car show as well as live entertainment, food and drinks vendors and much more while the latter offers hay rides, live country music, carnival games and pumpkin throwing contests.