The 53rd edition of Viking Fest will take place in Poulsbo May 19-21, and since the event will be using the entire parking lot this year it will provide more space for the return of the strong-man competition and a new kids area.
The strong-man event will be May 21. It has not taken place since before COVID. The new kids area is for youngsters who can’t go on rides yet. Activities will include basketball, soccer, hopscotch, sidewalk chalk and bubbles. “We want the little ones to have something to do,” said Shari Hosler, a member of Viking Fest Corp.
The parade is set for May 20 at 2 p.m. It starts on 6th & Fjord and ends at Martha & Mary on Front Street. Best viewing is along Fjord Drive and Front Street. Spots fill up quickly, per the event’s website.
Throughout the event, the carnival and street fair will be open. At the information booth, you can purchase a ticket a wristband or at the carnival area. The street fair will include food, crafts, arts and games. There will also be a music lineup each day, including a street dance Saturday night on Front Street.
Also part of Viking Fest is the annual Road Race, which starts Saturday morning. There is a 5-mile race, 1-mile race or a kids dash along the waterfront. There will also be a pancake breakfast before the race at 7 a.m.
The Viking Tour Bike Ride will also be occurring Sunday at 9 a.m., an event that was added in 2016. The bike ride is limited to the first 500 riders. The ride has three different lengths for all riding levels: the “Odin,” a 58-mile journey featuring nearly 4,000 feet of climbing; the “Thor,” a 30-mile ride with fewer hills and for those looking to have a bit of fun with a little less challenge; and the “Freyja,” an 18-mile relaxing ride where you can enjoy yourself without breaking too much of a sweat.
Also that Sunday is another component of the Viking Tour that was added last year — Brew Fest. It includes beer, cider and wine from a variety of local producers. Various options are available from $7 to $30. There will also be food on-site from Crabtree Kitchen + Bar, Chocmo Chocolatier & Cafe, Sauce Nouvelle and Salish Sea Greens.
Last year’s Viking Fest was highly attended as it was the first time it was put on since the pandemic. Hosler is expecting a similar turnout this year. “I’m hoping this weather is going to hold up,” she said. “Last year was great because of the weather.”
Shuttle service is available from North Kitsap High School. WildWise School is also offering shuttle service. Cost is $3 each way. Proceeds contribute financial assistance to families for children to attend their Forest Pre-School, Forest School for grades K-8, as well as Wilderness Rites of Passage for youth.
Downtown lots will be closed for use by the events. There is limited handicap parking close to the event, so make plans to drop people off downtown and then park. If you have a placard there are a few spots close to Front Street, including the Edward Jones lot. Street parking in neighborhoods is for the residents and their guests, and 6th Avenue is where the parade queue’s up so it is not available for parking during the parade.