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An Iowa Bucket List Event: Don't Miss Nordic Fest in Decorah
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An Iowa Bucket List Event: Don't Miss Nordic Fest in Decorah

Hey, world! Get ready for a one-of-a-kind family experience in Decorah this July 27th - 29th!

Nordic Fest is celebrating 51 years running, right here in Iowa! Yes, since 1967, over 1 1/2 million visitors from all over the world have attended the Fest.

What's Nordic Fest all about anyway?

It's a non-profit, non-commmercial, Scandinavian celebration, honoring Norwegian culture and heritage. Nordic Fest is an utterly ethnic event, complete with traditional food, art, dance, music, and much, much more.

Enjoy delicious treats, traditional crafts, a colorful parade, lively entertainment, sporting events, and an incredible Saturday night fireworks display. Events begin with Thursday night's opening ceremonies at 6:45 p.m., followed by two full days of fun activities for the whole family. This 50th Anniversary celebration is set to be the biggest Fest yet! Make your plans now to be part of the fun!

Ready for a breakdown of all of that festing?


Opening Ceremonies, beginning at 6:45 p.m. will feature a pageantry of flags, costumes, music, dancing and more. The Nordic Fest Grand Marshal and Flag Recipient will officially be named.

That evening, food booths will be open and Water Street will be closed to vehicles. Canopies will be full of musical entertainment and the streets will be buzzing with fun!


The fun continues on Friday! Entertainment canopies will begin activity at 11 a.m. Food booths will tantalize your taste buds. And don't forget-- Vesterheim Museum is a must-see! Grab gifts or get inspired at the Arts & Crafts Show at the Decorah Middle School.

Friday evening, you'll want to head to Canopy 5 for a delightfully musical outdoor eve. Enjoy cold refreshments, plenty of dancing, and lots of friendly faces. 


Ready, set, wake up! Join in on the Elvelopet 5 and 15K Race (7:30 a.m.). Hundreds of people will gather for this fest favorite!

Lawn chairs will start to fill the sidewalks gearing up for the Grand Parade at 10:30 a.m. This classic fest event is a kid favorite.

Once the parade wraps up, it's time for more entertainment! Canopies are filled again with bands, jugglers, puppet shows, and more. Don't miss the Bunad Show at the Hotel Winneshiek. It's a great time to cool down in the beautiful Steyer Opera House.

Be sure to be back at Canopy 5 afterward, for more entertainment.

At 10 p.m. the night's sky will light up with a beautiful Fireworks Display.

But what's maybe the most amazing thing about Nordic Fest? This completely unique and memorable event is a nearly whole community effort. An all-volunteer board of directors do the main planning and organizing, made possible by year-round volunteer support. Nordic Fest is truly an unbelievable testament to the power of teamwork. The people of Decorah come together each year to truly put their heart and soul into creating all of this homegrown family fun. Don't miss it. Discover what Northeast Iowa's own Nordic Fest is all about. 

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Three cheers for Nordic Fest! Thanks for the post!
    Log in to reply.


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