By TERRI CASTELAZ
NORWAY - The Leif Erikson Viking Days Fall Festival planning committee has been hard at work finalizing plans for the 2012 festival, which will take place from Oct. 12-14.
Dennis Lynch, of Norway, coordinator of Leif’s Run, dresses up as a Viking to promote the Leif Erikson Viking Days Fall Festival being held Oct. 12-14 in Norway.
Throughout the weekend, local businesses will offer specials, demonstrations, games for children and drawing prizes.
The festivities get underway on Friday evening (Oct. 12) with a Viking Feast at Holy Spirit School. Viking re-enactors will perform while guests enjoy traditional Viking fare. The evening will conclude with a torchlight parade around Strawberry Lake.
The group, made up of area business owners and residents hope to help the annual event grow, provide fun for families, and highlight what the Norway area has to offer.
"The Leif Erikson Festival is a special event set aside for putting a spotlight on the Norway, Michigan area," says Barb Thorne, event organizer. "The festival brings the whole community together. It gives us a chance to showcase our stores, restaurants, community groups, places of worship, parks and facilities."
On Saturday, Oct. 13, the activities begin with Leif's Run, a 5K competitive race and 2.5-mile fun run/walk beginning at Marion Park. Era Chevrolet will also host a car show beginning in the morning. Activities will concentrate downtown Norway and along the U.S. 2 corridor.
At the band shell, visitors can enjoy a Norway talent competition, live music, the crowning of Miss Norway and the Friend of Norway and fall stories.
Local restaurants will offer a variety of food items throughout the day downtown as part of the Taste of Norway, and craft booths will be set up along the street as well. A variety of children's activities will also be offered. And Saturday includes the popular Leif Erikson parade down Norway's Main Street.
The planning committee has organized a number of activities to appeal to a variety of ages and keep visitors busy throughout the weekend.
"We are planning a variety of activities and events that will appeal to a wide audience," says Thorne. "There will be something for everyone. Folks will enjoy the antique car show, the art and craft and wood working and vendor show, lots of children's activities, farmer's market, the Taste of Norway, Norway's Got Talent and special music at the band shell, just to name a few of the attractions."
On Sunday Oct. 14, activities shift to the museum and church campus on the west side of Norway. A community church service will take place featuring musical performances and the Jake Menghini Norway History Museum will be open for tours and living history presentations.
Thorne believes the variety of activities, the autumn setting, and friendly company will make the festival a memorable experience.
"I think visitors will have a wonderful experience discovering new things in Norway, making new memories with friends and family, and enjoying our area's autumn color and natural beauty."
More information and a full list of activities is available at www.norwaymi.com/leiferiksonfestival.