Welcome to Poulsbo. And welcome to Viking Fest

May 17 is to Americans of Norwegian ancestry what April 24 is to Americans of Irish ancestry, Sept. 15-16 is to Americans of Mexican ancestry, and July 4 is to all of us. (And let us not forget the importance of June 6 to Americans of Swedish ancestry and Dec. 6 to Americans of Finnish ancestry.)

Each of those dates represent a watershed moment when people dared to shake the bonds of oppression, to be free and independent peoples, to create a more just society.

Poulsbo’s Viking Fest takes place each year the weekend closest to May 17, Norway’s Constitution Day. And it’s a day all of us — no matter where our family trees took root — can join in solidarity with our brethren of Norse ancestry and celebrate our common bonds. For whatever the reason our immigrant ancestors came to the United States — economic, environmental, political, religious — their journeys led to this place on Liberty Bay.

As we celebrate Viking Fest, we acknowledge the sacrifices of those ancestors who, out of necessity, made their home in a new land, and we give thanks that their paths led them here. We acknowledge the millennia of stewardship of this place by its First People, and pledge to do our part to be good caretakers of the environment that sustains us. We continue to pray for those working to build free and just societies in the lands of our forebearers and elsewhere in the world. And we welcome and embrace those who join us here — just as we were welcomed and embraced — adding their cultures and values and teachings to the fabric of this community.

Poulsbo’s population is increasingly diverse (this year’s Viking Fest features Irish and Mexican music and dance, reflecting two demographics that are among the largest in Poulsbo). But we all can relate to the significance and purpose of Norway’s Constitution Day. And on May 17, we all can take pride in the words, “Velkommen til Poulsbo.”

Welcome to Poulsbo. And welcome to Poulsbo’s Viking Fest celebration.

— In Kitsap Weekly: Ardis Morrow and Bill Austin named grand marshals of the 2017 Viking Fest Parade

— On KitsapDailyNews.com: Photo galleries and updated coverage of the Viking Fest events and contests.

More in Opinion

At 7:30 a.m. Jan. 15, crosswalk signage near the crosswalk at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Iverson Street was not visible to motorists because it was on its side and chained to a bolt in the ground. On one side of the street, a holder for pedestrian flags was empty. (Richard Walker/Kitsap News Group)
Flags, signage more inadequate when they’re not there

POULSBO — “The short distance from the 305 intersection to [8th] Avenue,… Continue reading

Introducing MV Suquamish, the state’s newest ferry

Suquamish, our newest ferry, was christened last month at the Vigor Shipyard… Continue reading

Officer Mayfield will join General Investigations Unit | Police Calls

As I write my first Bremerton Police Department weekly update, I reflect… Continue reading

What kind of community is Silverdale?

It was 130 years ago that the first plat map for Silverdale was filed with the county

Keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel

The grace period is over. Don’t pick up the phone, drivers. Washington… Continue reading

<em>(From right) State representatives Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, and Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, participate in a community discussion on bipartisanship “Finding Common Ground,” Sept. 26 in the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton. At left is discussion moderator Richard Walker of Kitsap News Group. (</em>Nick Twietmeyer | Kitsap News Group)
Bipartisanship is not a bad word

The job of a lawmaker is to take good ideas, make them better if possible, and enact them into law

Welcome to office, Mayor Wheeler

Welcome to the mayor’s office, Mayor Wheeler. You took some heat late… Continue reading

Striving to make Kitsap County a safe and healthy place

By ED WOLFE | County Commissioner As we have come to more… Continue reading

We call on the city to take action now

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson said Jan. 4 that “pedestrian safety is always… Continue reading

Most Read