Let your inner-Norwegian out. The Little Norway Festival begins today.
The annual event celebrates Syttende Mai, or May 17, the signing of Norway's Constitution in 1814. Petersburg has been formally celebrating the occasion since 1958.
The celebration includes live music, food, traditional dance, art receptions, softball and the return of the Viking/Valkyrie jail. Activities run from Thursday to Sunday.
“We are bringing back the classics,” said Little Norway Chair Holli Flint. “The Style Show, the parade, and the festival pageant are all back,” she added.
“The annual Festival Dance will have a little revamp this year. We moved it to Thursday to kick-off the festival, instead of a wind down event. Historically it's been on Saturday,” Flint said.
This year the dance will be at the Beachcomber. The Pickled Herring Band will provide the music, and Heidi Lee will offer dance demonstrations.
The Wooden Rowboat Race and Regatta is returning this year.
“Last year was the first one, and it's really cool,” Flint said. “It's quite a show of workmanship. This year the race is going to be bigger and includes three heats,” she said.
“The play is back; the melodrama. We've been a few years without the play and it's always a lot of fun,” Flint said. “It's always been really well attended and has offered really great performances.”
According to Flint, event organizers are expecting a lot of out of town guests for the festive weekend.
The Little Norway Festival schedule kicks off today with the Clausen Memorial Museum Little Norway Art Show at 10 a.m.
Also today the One Hour Make it - Take it Rosemaling Class will be held at Timeless Treasures from 1 to 3 p.m.
The Pickled Herring Band will perform at the Petersburg Medical Center in Long Term Care at 11 a.m. and at Mountain View Manor at 1 p.m.
A Live Norwegian Sweater Modeling display will be held in the windows at Lee's Clothing from 2 to 4 p.m.
The Hospital Guild will host a Silver Tea to honor the staff of Petersburg Medical Center in the Long Term Care Solarium from 2 to 4 p.m.
The Wild Celery Art Show will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., and the Eric Corl Memorial Softball Tournament at the Ball Field begins at 6 p.m.
The evening will also feature opening night of Mitkof Mummers Musical Melodrama, “Wash Your Troubles Away Or…Dirty Deeds Come Clean,” in the Syd Wright Auditorium at 7 p.m. Also at 7 p.m. will be the Mayfest Kick-Off Feast and Dueling Pianos at Kito's Kave.
Topping off the evening is the Festival Dance at the Beachcomber at 8 p.m. featuring the Pickled Herring Band.
The festivities on Friday feature the Rae C. Stedman Elementary School Art Show in various locations throughout the city that can be seen throughout the weekend.
Beginning at 10 a.m., downtown main street will be cordoned off to allow the streets to be filled with arts and crafts booths plus a food court.
A beer garden sponsored by the Harbor Bar will open at noon. The Pickled Herring Band will be performing throughout the day.
The Scandinavian Style Show & Luncheon will be held at the Sons of Norway Hall at noon.
A Muskeg Walk with Forest Service Interpreter Mary Clemens will meet at the Visitors Center at 2 p.m.
A Temsco Helicopter will pass through the Narrows at 4 p.m., which will mark the start of the annual parade, followed by the annual herring toss at 4:30 p.m. on main street.
Miele Gallery & Framing will host an artist reception for Pia Reilly from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Moose Lodge Family Center will host a steak dinner from 6 to 8 p.m.
Friday evening's activities will conclude with softball, a second performance of the musical melodrama and the Pickled Herring Band at the Beachcomber.
Saturday's events will begin early with the Little Norway “Lop the Loop” 7 K run and walk at 8 a.m. The starting line is on main street.
The USCGC Anacapa and USCGC Elderberry will host an open house at the Coast Guard dock from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Dolly Derby in the north harbor, is sponsored by Petersburg Indian Association and the Vikings, in partnership with the Fish and Game Dept. Young anglers will have a chance to learn about catch and release or to hook a fish dinner. There's no charge for the event; life jackets are needed. The event begins at 9:30 a.m.
The day continues with Kaffe Hus at the Sons of Norway Hall. The menu offers traditional Norwegian foods such as authentic pastries, open-faced sandwiches, cookies and coffee. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Women of the Moose will be selling Beer Bits to Go at the Moose Lodge starting at 11 a.m.
The Fire Department will host the dedication of Station One on Haugen Drive on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.
The Wooden Boat Regatta & Boat show will start at the Harbor Master's dock. The event is sponsored by the South Kupreanof Yacht Club. Participants should meet at 1 pm at the bottom of the ramp of the North Harbor. The rowboat race begins at 1:30 p.m. The boats must be wooden and hand powered. Any size or crew capacity is acceptable. The event includes three heats: traditional rowboat, kayak/canoes, and Norwegian Faering. The vessels will then be on display in the North Harbor after the races.
A Coast Guard Helicopter Search and Rescue demonstration will be held at the Coast Guard Dock from 2 to 3 p.m.
The Pickled Herring Band Music will warm up the crowd at the High School Gym at 2 p.m. and the Little Norway Festival Pageant will begin at 3 p.m.
An All You Can Eat Shrimp Feed, hosted by the PHS basketball teams, will be held at the PFI Cookhouse from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
And the final showing of the musical melodrama will begin at 7 p.m.
Sunday morning activities begin with the Annual Festival Pancake Breakfast at St. Catherine's Catholic Church from 8 to 11 a.m.
The Rotary Club will host a Seafood Bake and Barbeque at Sandy Beach featuring grilled salmon, rockfish and black cod.
The Championship Softball game will also begin at noon.
The Little Norway Festival Committee this year included: Holli Flint (Chair), Katie Eddy, Sally Dwyer, Janet Holten, Anne Hurt, Camie Pederson, Amanda Moore, Ellen Rojcewicz, Naomi Welde, Heidi Lee, Hillary Whitethorn, Marilyn Menish-Meucci and Megan O'Neil.