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Poulsbo, Washington

In 1882, Norwegian immigrants established the fishing and farming community of Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State.  Looking out at Liberty Bay, it is easy to see how this portion of the Puget Sound reminded city founder Jorgen Eliason of the fjord by historic Paulsbo, Norway. Today, picturesque Poulsbo, WA is known as "Little Norway on the Fjord".

Welcome to Poulsbo

Visitors enjoy the city's international flavor, galleries, antique and specialty shops, waterfront restaurants, kayaking Liberty Bay, and visiting the free Marine Science Center. The Poulsbo Historical Society will fill you in on the history of the town while you walk its scenic streets. Call them for a tour at 360-697-3033.

Viking Fest in May is a three day Poulsbo event with parades, bands, craft booths and Viking costumes 360-697-7450. There is a Lutefisk eating contest where contestants try to eat as much lye-preserved fish as they can (Ish!). Highlights of past Viking Fest parades have been the shopping cart moms, all the Viking hats on the city officials, Viking ships, Norwegian folk dancers, ball walkers, and the Lutefisk and Lefsa cheer.

St. Hans Mid-Sommerfest in Waterfront park on Summer Solstice celebrates the longest day of the year in Norwegian style with folk dances, sack races, egg carry contests, a parade and a bon fire 360-779-5209. To open the festival, duly dressed Vikings in fur cloaks, horn hats, bare hairy legs and fuzzy boots blow animal horns and declare the bon fire lit to commemorate man's defiance of the forces of darkness. Maids in fitted bodices, white blouses, long skirts, and aprons watch with flowered wreaths on their heads.

The Lighted Boat Parade is a Norwegian Christmas tradition celebrated each year by the Poulsbo Yacht Club 360-779-3116.

Easter is a big Scandinavian holiday, and Poulsbo has two big Easter egg hunts every year. One is sponsored by the city 360-779-9898, and the Sons of Norway put on the other 360-779-5209.

Other Norwegian events to attend in Poulsbo are: the Sons of Norway Lutefisk Feeds in January and November, Kitsap Quilters show in February, Poulsbo Arts Festival in August, and First Lutheran Church's Lutefisk and Lefsa dinner in October.

Poulsbo is only an hour from Seattle if you take the Bainbridge Island ferry and then drive the eleven miles on to Poulsbo. Cars drive right on to the ferries. The ferry ride is inexpensive, beautiful and relaxing. A ferry leaves Seattle for Bainbridge Island about once an hour during daylight. See the wsdot site for fares and schedules. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries

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