I took the plunge this year with travelling to many new cities this year, inlcuding to the state of North Dakota to the city of Minot.
Last year, I had been approached to participate in the largest Scandinavian Festival in North America, held in Minot, North Dakota every year, taking place the last week of September. I was not able to attend last year, because I had already signed up for Salmon Days, in Issaquah, WA, a show much closer to home.
My initial plan was to travel by train. There is a train that goes directly into Minot, ND from my hometown of Seattle. After looking at the prices for a couchette for myself on the train, I dismissed the idea because of the expense. I also contemplated driving 1,200 miles one way and stopping off in Bozeman, MT on my way. I would "lose" approximately 4-5 days of production time. The thought of driving so long without cruise control and cramping legs, I chose to take an airplane, train, car and finally airplane.
Buying an airline ticket two weeks before a show was not a good idea at all. The ticket was almost as much as a plane ticket to Stockholm in the winter!
Minot was having extremely beautiful weather with bright blue skies, cold evening and morning, but warming up during the day.
I met some of my fellow Scandinavian vendors from Washington State and my sister flew out a few days after I arrived. The festival was big, very, very big, compared with the Scandinavian festivals I had attended in the past. Each huge hall contained the capital names of each Scandinavian country represented; Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm, where I was.
The event draws people in busloads from the north, in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada and from the south from the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
On Friday afternoon, I was visited by a small group, one carrying a large horn, a photographer and the woman in charge of the vendors, Audrey Nelson. I was presented with a prize of a Dala Horse with my name etched in metal for the "Order of Merit - Arisan" award. I was shocked, surpised and very, very happy.
My plan is not to go back to Minot, ND next year, but then again, I think I may want to revisit this wonderful city with the friendly people and spend more time in the "Viking Village", eat some Swedish meatballs and try to attend some of the musical events.
Thank you Høstfest!!!