Todd's Takes - Why Norsk Høstfest?

September 19, 2023

Fall is in the air, and so is one of the state of North Dakota’s biggest fall events, Norsk Høstfest!

Norsk Høstfest is North America’s largest Scandinavian festival. If you have never been to it, I suggest you give it a try. Its home is at the ND State Fairgrounds in Minot, encompassing over 200,000 square feet of indoor space, hundreds of campers, dozens of tour buses, and over 35,000 people will go through its doors from September 27th to the 30th.

This is EPIC Events second year of managing the event for the Norsk Høstfest Board, bringing it out of two years of hibernation due to the pandemic. Last year was difficult getting everyone back online to volunteer and move forward, but it happened! This year, Alexis Meyer, our Executive Director, is light years ahead, our Board is focused, and the community of Minot is ready to open its doors to what should be very good festival!

So why Norsk Høstfest? Well, it reflects heritage, family, farming - truly a reflection of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going! Sure, the festival is about the good old days, food, crafts, and more, but it is also about the Scandinavian culture as it represents TODAY! The culture is alive and well, and plays a significant role in current art, technology, health, and beauty.

Norsk Høstfest is a reflection of our team at EPIC. We come from all different perspectives of life and background, while always working together to accomplish greatness. I think you will see that at the festival this year!

I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of the festival since the beginning over 40 years ago. I never write an article or speak about the festival without tipping my hat to three people that were instrumental in making it what it is today – Chester Reiten, a media guy with a passion for heritage of his Norwegian culture, Pam Davy, she ran the festival every year for Chester and later his son David, and now we are fortunate enough to have her on the Board, and Jerry Iverson, the long time ND State Fair Manager and primary confidant of Chet’s. These three made the festival what it is today, a magical experience at the ND State Fair Center.

So again, I ask, why Norsk Høstfest? Well, why not. It is good for the community, good for our youth, and good for the state of North Dakota and beyond. 

As we say at the Viking games, SKOL! 😊


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