Brainerd Showcases the Viking Age at Annual Crow Wing County Viking Festival
For years, the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds has hosted the annual Crow Wing County Viking Festival, serving as a gathering place for those who have studied the Viking Age.
“I’ve been to some Viking festivals and I thought it would be just a great thing to bring to Brainerd Lakes Area, and so we started doing it in 2019,” said Crow Wing County Viking Festival Founder Juile Guth. “And we’ve been doing it every year since then and we are planning to continue it for a long time.”
One of the main reasons for hosting the Crow Wing County Viking Festival is to connect people with the past, with several live demonstrations doing just that.
“We have cooking demonstrations, we have fighting demonstrations, we have wood turners,” explained Viking historian Andrew Grosberg. “All sorts of demonstrations to show these are actual skills these people had from this time period.”
One of the biggest attractions is the festival’s live steel combat, which sees professionals demonstrate authentic Viking combat.
“We use real steel weapons, we have real armor, and it’s not choreographed, so all the damage that you see was really done,” explained Grosberg. “There are dented shields, dented helmets, chunks missing from weapons because we actually use them to really hit our friends.”
Beyond the battles and vendors on display, the Viking Festival hopes to provide the public with a fun look back to a Nordic past.
“Everybody seems to be enjoying themselves and I always think if you can do an event that has something for everybody, that’s the best,” said Guth.
The festival also featured several educators explaining Nordic folklore and several traditions within Nordic culture.