Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yulefest 2008

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard just held another Yulefest (annual Christmas Festival) on Nov.22-23. Attendees shopped for hand-crafted gifts from over 50 vendors while weaving through the meandering halls and nooks and crannies of the old school building housing the Museum. Many visitors, in addition to vendors, staff, and volunteers, came suitably dressed for the occasion in a traditional costume or Scandinavian sweater--myself included. I had planned on getting a photograph of Father Christmas while I was there, but he had his own photographer and was charging the parents of kiddies who wanted visual souvenirs to take home.

Scandinavian food and drink was served at several places in the Museum, including the New Bodega, the Nordic Cafe, and the popular Kaffestuga. Musicians, singers, and other entertainers could be observed entertaining those who stopped for coffee and a traditional treat. The Yulefest is always a fun and colorful event. The halls and booths are constantly crowded, and the cashier line in the gift shop moves glacially slow, but no one seems to mind. Everyone is thinking of the joys of Christmas and appreciating the opportunity to be a part of another Yulefest.

Not too long after my husband and I arrived at the Nordic Heritage Museum on the afternoon of Saturday, November 22, a fire alarm sounded and the building was slowly evacuated. It did not take long, however, before everyone was able to return to their shopping or plate of sweets.

A message board outside the museum promoted the Leif Erikson International Foundation LEIF)

On the main floor near the entrance, visitors perused home-baked pastries and other goodies to buy and take home, including krumkake, snickerdoodles, and much more.

In a room next to the auditorium, lefse line volunteers were kept very busy.

The Yulefest housed over 50 vendors on three floors of the museum. The second floor included these displays of woven items and Celtic-design inspired jewelry--one of my favorite stops.

Happy shoppers!

A close-up of some traditional rosemaling. My mother doesn't know it yet, but she'll be getting a painted heart-shaped box for Christmas.

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