The 47th annual Decorah Nordic Fest is history, and here's hoisting a glass of aquavit in celebration of a job well done by Fest Board President Sue Sander and her throng of hard-working volunteers who made the Fest come alive for so many visitors and veterans alike.

Make no mistake, it takes an incredible amount of time and effort by everyone concerned to carry on the tradition of Decorah's Norwegian/Scandinavian heritage during the last weekend in July each year since 1967. What began as a distant vision has evolved into one of the best festivals in all of Iowa and the tri-state region.

The Fest Board certainly deserves the lion's share of credit for devoting so much of their time and energy to the project - without monetary compensation - but the countless volunteers who somehow manage to find the time in their busy schedules to make sure the Nordic Fest tradition continues also should be commended.

What exactly is that tradition? As far as I can discern, throughout the past four-plus decades, the Fest has maintained a deserved and welcome reputation as a family-friendly celebration of the area's Scandinavian heritage - with a heavy emphasis on family.

From the plethora of delicious food offerings, to entertainment, to an array of activities, to demonstrations and exhibits of the arts and crafts of Norway, the Fest continues to be an event parents can bring their children to and not have to be worried about exposing them to any "ugly" elements that can often times dominate any kind of community "party."

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