Norwegian Heritage Festival

Pacific Lutheran University was founded by Norwegian Lutheran pioneers in 1890, and its Scandinavian roots run deep.

The university honors those roots annually with the Norwegian Heritage Festival, a collection of events that feature Norwegian foods, entertainment, and vendors, as well as crafts and demonstrations from rosemaling to woodcarving.

The event dates back to 1975, when HM King Olav V of Norway visited PLU. Local Norwegian Americans staged the festival in his honor. It was such a success that it continues today.

This year’s event is April 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Anderson University Center. Admission is free and includes all entertainment. Food is homemade and inexpensive (cash preferred). The Scandinavian Cultural Center will also be open during the festival, hosting a special lecture on an upcoming Tacoma Art Museum exhibit showcasing Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. As part of the lecture, special guest Dr. Allison Morehead will judge students’ art submissions as part of the exhibit “Inspired by Munch.”

Traditional Norwegian food and entertainment will be coordinated by the Daughters of Norway and the Sons of Norway, and Glamfolk Viking reenactors will perform in the Regency Room throughout the day.

Check out all the event has to offer, including:

  • Vendors selling handmade items in the upper level of the AUC.
  • Norwegian food served in Chris Knutzen Hall, including lefse and romegraut, all afternoon.
  • Performances by the Sonoro Scandinavian Children’s Choir, which was first featured during King Harald of Norway’s visit to campus last year, and the Leikarring Dancers. The 125 year old Normanna Male Chorus will also perform, as well as the accordion fiddle folk act Nordic Spirit. Smilin Scandinavians, a local polka band, will also offer their take on several popular dance tunes.

The Norwegian Heritage Festival is the result of a collaboration between PLU, local Norwegian lodges, Nordlyset, Sons of Norway and Daughters of Norway. For more information about this event and its participants, visit annualevents.