Swedish Fest to incorporate first Viking 5K

Published 7:49 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

Thorsby will celebrate its Scandinavian roots in true Viking style Saturday, Oct. 13.

The theme of the town’s annual Swedish Festival is “Year of the Viking,” and it will permeate the daylong event.

For instance, new for the festival is the Thorsby Viking 5K Run, which will start at 8 a.m.

The entry fee is $25 per person and includes a T-shirt and goody bag.

Participants may run or walk but should register as soon as possible.

Registration forms are available on the festival’s website, thorsbyswedishfestival.com.

The parade will follow at 9:30 a.m. No entry fee is required to participate in the parade, and anyone interested should line up at the old sewing factory (across the railroad tracks from Littleton’s Hardware) at 9 a.m.

“Just show up and line up,” said Tracia Bussey, Swedish Festival Committee chairwoman, adding that parade participants can also enter a float-decorating contest, bearing in mind the Viking theme.

Cash prizes for the best-decorated floats are $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

Businesses in Thorsby are invited to compete for Best Dressed Storefront awards.

Judges will view and rate each storefront the morning of the festival, and winners will be announced during the afternoon festivities at Richard H. Wood Memorial Park on Highway 31 in Thorsby.

Opening ceremonies will be at 10:30 a.m. at the park.

But to top it all off, those who attend Swedish Fest are invited – even encouraged – to dress in Viking attire and compete in the first Best Looking Viking Contest.

The contest will be $10 to enter and is open to men, women and children of all ages.

“The total population for the town is 2,000, so we usually double it that day,” Bussey said. “All our profits go right back to projects important to our town. It’s good for the town in a lot of ways.”

Bussey said Norwegian country music singer O.J. Hanssen is slated to headline the live entertainment portion.

A car and motorcycle show will take place in front of Thorsby School, and the town’s museum will be open in its new location – the old bank building.

Bussey said booth space is still available for food and arts and crafts vendors.

Booth registration forms can be found at thorsbyswedishfestival.com.

As part of the festival events, the 2012 Swedish Festival Beauty Pageant will be on Oct. 8 and 9 at the Thorsby High School Auditorium at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Tracia Bussey at (205) 217-0978 or go to thorsbyswedishfestival.com.