Home » News » New Jersey’s Scandinavian Fest – the largest Nordic festival on the East Coast – is set for Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bring the family and friends. (Photo courtesy of Scan Fest)
Bring the family and friends. (Photo courtesy of Scan Fest)

New Jersey’s Scandinavian Fest – the largest Nordic festival on the East Coast – is set for Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 24, 2013

Come Join The 29th Annual Smörgåsbord of Family Fun …  in the great outdoors!

The Sunday of Labor Day Weekend brings the 29th Annual ScanFest ’13 to Budd Lake, NJ – in the fields and groves of the NJ Vasa Park, a sylvan recreational site near Hackettstown in New Jersey’s “Skylands” region. The event – produced by Scandinavian Fest, Inc. – is featured on Sunday, September 1, 2013 and held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine.

The largest Nordic festival on the East Coast and perhaps the largest all-Scandinavian event in North America, ScanFest is an all-day outdoor event (entertainment covered) celebrating the food, crafts, arts, traditions and current life of the Nordic countries of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

ScanFest ‘2013 is pleased to present three major new groups – the Nordic duo “The Blue and the Blond”, violinist Sara Pajunen and the Finnish folk music quartet Kardemimmit – for the 29th annual Scandinavian Fest in addition to returning favorites, talks, presentations, and an expanded children’s program. In all, there are 3 entertainment stages for adults and one stage for kids, plus the field contest arena, and a room for talks and lectures for a total of 6 areas, and each with a full day’s program.

IN ALL… Fest ‘13 has 6 performance/demo/talk areas, over 30 performances for adults & kids, 20+ varied ethnic & festival food vendors (some traditional Nordic items, others with more familiar American ‘festival’ fare), 60+ specialized hand craft & gift vendors with a variety of articles, crafts and designs.

FREE SAS TICKETS: One  lucky winner can score 2 round-trip tickets to Scandinavia via SAS in the festival’s FREE door prize drawing.

FOOD: Of course, food is important to any heritage festival and the Fest’s 20+ food vendors offer the traditional popular (and some not-so-familiar) dishes as well as those delicious Nordic desserts, plus lots more to enjoy with beer and other beverages.  Of course, there’s familiar American festival fare for the less adventurous.

SHOPPING: ScanFest has an extensive Nordic Marketplace of many specialized vendors who offer Nordic handicrafts, traditional folk and contemporary dress, and modern Nordic gifts ranging from knickknacks to lush Icelandic sweaters and elaborate decorative furnishings, artwork, and jewelry.  The festival is great for early holiday shopping. Several Nordic organizations, clubs, associations, and travel agencies will have reps and literature to discuss and review.  Nordic groups with reps from airlines, fraternal clubs, professional organizations, publications, and associations provide literature, travel info, and more.

ADDRESS: NJ’s Vasa Park is located at 1 Wolfe Rd., Budd Lake NJ 07828, the NJ “Skylands” Region. Visit the Fest website:  www.ScanFest.org for a listing of the vendors, artisans, and exhibits of organizations who’ll attend as well as the full entertainment program as it’s updated through the run-up to the Fest. All this in one day and for a single admission!

GENERAL ADMISSION is $14 at the gate, $13 for seniors (less than 40¢ per performance).  Those wearing authentic Nordic regional folkdress and children 12 & under are FREE.

ABOUT SCANFEST: ScanFest celebrates and promotes the traditional cultures, contributions, and current life of the Nordic regions.  The Fest seeks relevant food and gift/craft vendors, performers, presenters, reenactors, demonstrating artisans, children’s activities and organizations with a Nordic theme or relevance. ScanFest is produced by Scandinavian Fest, Inc., an independent, non-profit educational corporation with 501(c)3 status. Excepting hired set-up labor, ScanFest is organized and staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers.  It’s neither a fundraiser for nor an affiliate of any other organization.

DIRECTIONS: ScanFest is an easy day-trip from anywhere in the region on a holiday weekend Sunday when there’s little traffic.  Simply take Exit 26 WESTBOUND off I-80 in NJ onto US 46 West toward Hackettstown. Follow US 46 WEST from I-80 three miles to the first traffic light past Budd Lake at Wolfe Road. Left onto Wolfe 1/4 mile to Vasa Park on the right. For more detailed directions, visit the Directions page at www.scanfest.org.




ScanFest ’13’s three new acts are all exciting “must-sees”:

  • The Blue and the Blond: The exciting Nordic duo of Jutta Rahmel & Vidar Skrede, playing Finnish kantele, Norwegian hardingfele, fiddle, guitar, & vocals. Tunes from their Nordic traditions of polska, halling, walz, schottische, & rekilaulu with their own imaginations.
  •  Sara Pajunen: Extremely versatile and adventuristic violinist: Nordic fiddle, Argentine tango, classical, and jazz while constantly experimenting with new techniques.
  •  Kardemimmit: Direct from Finland: Finnish folk music quartet of Maija Pokela, Jutta Rahmel, Anna Wegelius & Leeni Wegelius singing & playing the 15 & 38 stringed kantele with modern folk music that’s fresh but founded in Finnish tradition & improvisation.


  •  ABBAGirlz:  The Spectacular ABBA Tribute, perhaps the best ABBA tributes since ABBA itself. Featuring beautiful harmonies, elaborate costumes, and exciting choreography that captivate all audiences and  make every show one to remember.  Organized from start to finish, they’re captivating crowds over all North America.  ScanFest is delighted they’re returning for Fest ‘13.   A definite “don’t-miss”.
  • Marcia Boyesen & Roger Latzgo, whose recordings are popular world-wide, won the prestigious International Angel Awards for Excellence in Media.  The duo are are on a musical mission to enhance understanding and appreciation of quality literature through the power of music.   Marcia’s lyric soprano voice with Roger’s classical piano and guitar weave a musical tapestry that brings their Story-Songs to life.  Their ScanFest program presents Hans Christian Andersen Songs & Stories:  musical settings of “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Little Match Girl”.
  • Ruthann Cunningham, gifted professional classical soprano with arias by Grieg & Sibelius, others.
  • Norsewinds: a unique mix of energetic Scandinavian & American original, traditional, folk, and world music, (and a couple Irish pub songs).
  • The upbeat & unique sounds of Eric Olsen’s Jazz Quartet.


  • The VonHalstern medieval/Viking combat demonstrations
  • Vinland Longship Norse re-enactors encampment & demos
  • The Leif Ericsson Society’s viking longship “Norseman” in regalia
  • A demo of Icelandic horsemanship including the famous “5th gait” unique to Icelandics
  • AND … the 4th annual (!) Wife-Carrying Contest Obstacle Course!! Whazzat? Check it out! Carry a wife – any wife. Win her weight in beer! All invited.


• Swedish Folk Dancers of New York

• Skansen:  Youth folkdance group of the Swedish Vasa Order

• Smörgåsbanded:  accordions+ for afternoon dancing & listening

• The amazing “Pillerkaar” Estonian folkdancers

•The versatile Ed Hendela with Finnish and Swedish favorites.

ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS, a new and much-expanded program:

• Rune talk for kids with author Dan Norris

• Clarence! the Clown and his ever-popular magic

• Marcia Boyesen and Roger Latzgo – stories and tales for kids.

• NEW EXPANDED All-day kids’ activities area with viking dress-up, Tunics, runestones, Lucet weaving, heart baskets, Taefel board game, Viking shields,  paper viking ships,flag coloring, Viking dress…. AND… “Are You Smarter than the Average Viking?” game, more, & a play-ground


• Genealogy:  How to do your Scandinavian genealogy, Bill Fagerstrom

• Annie Humphrey:   “The Wide Norse World” & “Women in the Viking Era”:  the variety of Norse Viking-era society & interactions,  gender roles in the Viking home & settlements


Skilled artisans demo traditional handcrafts through the day:

  • Carl Johnson: acanthus woodcarving *
  • Susan Keenan:  lace making
  • Elizabeth Baumgardt:  Norwegian hardanger
  • Lavinia Trimmer:  hardanger painting
  • Janet Doyle: Nordic weaving

MORE INFO:  Visit www.ScanFest.org for vendors’, performers’ and program updates as they’re posted.



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