This weekend’s NorsktOberfest will provide fun for all ages

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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Whether you’re German, Scandinavian or other, plan to slap on your lederhosen or bunad and come to downtown Glendive this Friday and Saturday for some great entertainment and fun for the whole family, great food and copious amounts of beer at the inaugural NorsktOberfest.

“We hope people from the community and around the region will come out and enjoy this new festival event we’ve created,” said Dawson County Economic Development Council Executive Director Jason Stuart, the event organizer. “Our planning team has worked very hard over the past several months to create a festival that’s both a lot of fun for everyone who attends and that we hope will provide an economic boon for the community by drawing in visitors from around the region. Our goal and hope at the DCEDC is that this will become a true destination event that will get bigger and better every year.”

The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at the Eastern Plains Event Center with a keg-tapping ceremony and then will go on for nearly two full days of fun and excitement. Friday hours are from 4 p.m. to midnight and on Saturday the event goes from 11 a.m. to midnight. The event is centered on the EPEC and Our Park downtown and includes Merrill Avenue between Valentine and Barry streets (please note that Merrill Avenue will be closed to traffic between Valentine and Barry from noon Friday through 1 a.m. Sunday morning).

Throughout the festival, there is something for just about everyone to enjoy.

Inside the EPEC on both days will be crafts and merchandise vendors from around the region, with one vendor direct all the way from Norway! Visitors will also be able to interact with the Fjellborg Vikings living history display. NorsktOberfest souvenir t-shirts, ceramic mugs and Hofbrauhaus steins will also be for sale inside the EPEC. GMC Catering will be selling food out of the EPEC, offering a traditional German platter meal. Zion Lutheran will have ready-to-eat lefse for sale, and Farm-to-Table will have a make-your-own-lefse demonstration.

Outdoors are a plethora of games, activities and entertainment that should offer something for the whole family to enjoy.

Main stage acts include Alte Kameraden, a 15-member German band ensemble out of Red Lodge. Closing out with the “night show” for both nights will be “Vikings with guitars” band Ragnarokkr.

Norse storyteller/comedian Chad Filley will also take the stage both days, and the DCC Music Department will have a short program on Saturday afternoon.

Over in Our Park will be all kinds of fun.

On both days, the traditional Scandinavian lawn games of kubb and molkke will be available for anyone to try their hand at playing. The Montana National Guard will also be on hand with their bungee run inflatable and their football toss booth. Also be on the lookout for the folks from the Billings Skyview Amtgard group, who will have a foam-tip archery booth running and who may, on occasion, break out into mock medieval battles in the park or on the street.

On Saturday only there will be even more happening in Our Park. The kids won’t want to miss the “Frozen Corner” with all their favorite characters, including a “singing” Anna and Elsa along with Olaf. And right next to the Frozen Corner on Saturday will be a real, live reindeer display! So don’t miss your chance to see and get your photo taken with these majestic creatures and symbols of Scandinavian culture!

Also on Saturday in Our Park beginning at 2 p.m. will be the “NorsktOber Games,” where three-person teams will compete in a mix of German and Scandinavian feats of skill and strength — rock tossing, keg hurling, axe throwing, hammerschlagen and stein holding — with the top four finishing teams competing for the “title” in a beer relay contest. Teams can register prior to the event on our website or they can register on-site on Saturday. There is no cost to enter. Contestants must be 21 or older.

Besides the food available inside the EPEC there will be additional food trucks/ vendors spaced throughout the area, including Bloom & Vine (who will be selling hard drinks in addition to food), Tailgators, Zippidy-Doo-Dog, Miki’s and more. Several food vendors will have special German/Scandinavian menu items for this event only.

Beer vendors will be set up in the EPEC parking lot. Both local brewers, Cross Country Brewing and Beaver Creek Brewery, will be there, and both have brewed specialty beers just for this occasion that will make their debut at the event. Also on tap will be Hofbrauhaus beer, which was brewed in Munich, Germany itself! Finally the Wagon Wheel will have their beer trailer set up for those who prefer light domestic drafts.

There is no cost to enter the event, but the DCEDC is requesting that attendees consider making a freewill donation to support the event and help ensure that it will return next year and for years thereafter.

There will be Venmo codes posted at the gates which attendees can use to make a donation if they choose.

Beer tickets for craft beers are $5 each. Domestic drafts purchased through the Wagon Wheel are cash-only. NorsktOberfest souvenir t-shirts are $30, NorsktOberfest souvenir ceramic mugs are $15 and Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest steins are $25.

“This is going to be a great event, and we really hope everyone in town will take the time to come check it out,” Stuart said. “So come on down, celebrate your German or Scandinavian heritage with us and help us out by supporting this new festival for our community.”

For more information, a schedule of events, to register a team for the NorsktOber Games or purchase a VIP souvenir package, please visit our website at www.norsktoberfest. com.