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Annual Pickled Herring Contest draws a hungry crowd


Mary Koppes / Petersburg Pilot

Pickled seafood judges (right to left) Kyle Clayton, Mike Bangs and Cindy Fuglvog discuss the pickled delicacies Wednesday evening at the Sons of Norway's annual Pickled Herring contest. Crab tails, octopus and a variety of fish were on offer this year, but Kurt Kvernvik's pickled shrimp ultimately won the judges over.

This year's Pickled Herring Contest held at the Sons of Norway Hall Wednesday evening was one of the biggest ever. Four tables showcased over a dozen entries apiece, each competing for the top prize in four categories: pickled seafood, smoked salmon, cured/smoked seafood and pickled herring.

Mary Koppes / Petersburg Pilot

(From left) Mike Luhr, Bradee Luhr, Bill "Helmer" Olson and grandson Eric Thynes, Glo Wollen and Kurt Kvernvik were this year's champions in four categories in the Sons of Norway's annual Pickled Herring contest Wednesday evening. The Luhr's and Olson were tied for the top smoked salmon entry. Olson's smoked black cod took home first prize in the cured category. Wollen's creamy dill pickled herring won in the pickled herring category. Kvernvik's pickled shrimp won out for top pickled seafood.

Cynthia Mathisen, the event's organizer, said there were more entries overall this year and several exciting entries in the cured category, which was new to the contest this year.

"Everyone has their specialty and they are so proud. They start working on this a month in advance," Mathisen said.

Twelve judges marked score cards this year to determine who took home the top prize in each category.

Glo Wollen's creamy dill pickled herring took the top prize in the contest's namesake category. Wollen, who emceed the event, told the crowd she's been entering the contest for over 20 years and tonight marked her first win.

A frequent winner in past years, Bill Olson again took home the top prize for his smoked black cod in the cured/smoked seafood category. He also tied with Mike Luhr and Bradee Luhr for best smoked salmon.

Kurt Kvernvik, also not a stranger to the top place in previous contests, took home the top prize for his pickled shrimp in the pickled seafood category.


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