MINOT, N.D. — The event billed as the largest Scandinavian heritage festival in North America is about to get underway in Minot.
The 39th annual Norsk Hostfest starts Wednesday at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds and runs through Saturday.
The event draws about 60,000 people from around the world each fall for food, music and other entertainment celebrating the culture of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Preparations have included work by a lot of volunteers who helped paint, hang flags and prepare stages. Cadence Owen told KXMC-TV that she was having fun volunteering, “and I was told I also have to try some lutefisk.” Some consider the jellylike fish dish — comprising fish, usually cod, which is dehydrated, rehydrated then boiled — a delicacy, while others find it inedible.
Main stage Hostfest performers this year include country superstars Big and Rich, Sara Evans and Dwight Yoakam, the rock band Chicago and legendary pop singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.
Other acts include Emmylou Harris, Daniel O’Donnell, and Tommy James and the Shondells. Hostfest tickets traditionally go on sale each May 17, which is Norway’s constitution day, Syttende Mai.
The Hostfest also includes the annual Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame inductions banquet. Being honored this year are Tupperware North America President Stein Ove Fenne; the Stenehjem Family, founders of the century-old First International Bank & Trust financial business; and Finnish cuisine expert and cookbook author Beatrice Ojakangas.
More than 125 people have been inducted into the hall since 1984, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin, puppeteer Jim Henson and Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen.
Norsk Hostfest: https://www.hostfest.com/