Norsk Høstfest Information

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Norsk Høstfest ( Norwegian language: "Norwegian Autumn Festival") is an annual festival held each fall in Minot, North Dakota. It is North America's largest Scandinavian festival. [1]


The event is held on the North Dakota State Fair grounds in Minot, North Dakota. Tens of thousands of people attend the Norsk Høstfest to celebrate and partake in the Scandinavian culture and entertainment. Altogether it has hosted cultural touchstones from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Greenland, Åland, Faroe Islands, German-speaking Europe and the Netherlands. [2]

The festival was founded in 1978 by former North Dakota senator and mayor of Minot, Chester Reiten (1923-2013), and a group of friends who shared his interest in celebrating their Nordic heritage. The festival is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises funds to preserve, improve and share Scandinavian culture, heritage and educational programs. [3]


Highlights of the fall festival include announcing the annual Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame is an enduring means of honoring those persons of Scandinavian descent in North America who have achieved greatness in their fields of endeavor and/or whose efforts have contributed significantly to the betterment of mankind. [4]

Other remarkable honors include the selection of the annual Miss Norsk Høstfest and naming of the Chester Award, which recognizes festival excellence in five categories: artisan, exhibitor, food concessionaire, volunteer and chairman. [5]

Norsk Høstfest features a number of Nordic exhibits with internationally recognized artisans, craftsmen and chefs participating. The cuisine as well as the clothes, art and jewelry are authentic, fine quality and exquisitely Nordic. [6]

During Høstfest week (end of September through first few days of October), presenters associated with the festival travel to the surrounding area where they introduce Nordic heritage and culture to students in an effort named "Høstfest In The Schools". Additionally, Scandinavian Youth Camp is held the weekend prior to Høstfest. Children participating in the camps also perform at Høstfest in scheduled events such as the Troll beauty contest, Norwegian Folk dance, Swedish Maypole dancers, and the Troll parade. [7]

There are several headliner acts booked each night of the event, not limited to the event's Scandinavian theme. Headliners in the past have included performers from the United States, Canada and Europe. [8]


  1. ^ Neenan, Kelly. "Be a Viking for the Day at Norsk Hostfest, North America's Largest Scandinavian Festival". Inside-Out Media. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  2. ^ Norsk Hostfest getting under way in Minot (Minot Daily News September 27, 2008)
  3. ^ "Chester Reiten". The Bismarck Tribune. Jan 27, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "Norsk Hostfest in Minot, North Dakota". Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  5. ^ "Norsk Høstfest". North Dakota Tourism Division. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  6. ^ Darin Lietz (October 14, 2015). "A host of delicacies flavor Høstfest". The Norwegian American. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Keith R. Darnay. "Norsk Høstfest: An Historical Overview". Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Helseth, Candi Three decades of Høstfest. Minot steals the show with country’s premier Scandinavian festival (Bismarck, ND: North Dakota Horizons. Fall 2006)

Additional sources

  • Olson, Lori; Olson, Jim (1995) Norsk Hostfest: Heritage Comes Alive (Helena, Mt: Farcountry Press) ISBN  978-1560370789
  • Emch Paul Thomas (2011) The Norsk Hostfest: A Celebration of Ethnic Food and Ethnic Identity (Dallas, TX: SIL International) ISBN  978-1556712654

External links

NORSK HøSTFEST Latitude and Longitude:

48°14′09″N 101°15′46″W / 48.23583°N 101.26278°W / 48.23583; -101.26278