• Andrenae Johnson

Cosplaying and Crafting, A Celebration of Viking Life at the Michigan Nordic Fire Festival

On Feb. 29, a group of students from Olivet were able to experience the fun of the Michigan Nordic Fire Festival. According to the website, the Viking-themed festival was created to celebrate “winter, fire, family and fun”.

The Nordic Fire Festival was held Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, with Sunday being free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets at the door cost $10. The festival was located in Lincoln Park of Charlotte Michigan.

Attendants were able to participate in ax throwing, sword fighting and watch live reenactments of the Viking era. There were vendors at the festival who sold items such as armor and weapons, furs, and drinking horns that Vikings would have owned. Vendors also sold food that people during that time would eat such as meat pies and turkey legs. Music and singing, pipe playing and fire shows were performed.

Mark Anderson and with his granddaughter Alana were Viking cosplayers (people who dress up in costumes for conventions or other events) who attended the festival. When asked why they came, Anderson said, “We’re here with her family and her two uncles are coming as well, so we had a big party last night and we’re going to have one tonight” Anderson and his granddaughter attended the festival last year. When they were asked what they like to do Alana Anderson said, “Kinda just walk around and look at other peoples clothing”

Anderson said, I really enjoy the history of how they live, what they did, blacksmithing”.

Brian Williams was a blacksmith and a woodworker who attended the festival. Feb 29 was his first time presenting his work and he plans to attend next year’s festival.

Williams was asked how long he has been a woodworker and a blacksmith, and he said, “The woodworking most of my adult life, the blacksmithing the last two years.”'

Sarah Boyle, sophomore at Olivet College, attended the festival for the first time. She said, “I am utterly surprised about how much fun I had. I initially was not going to end up going, but I changed my mind at the very last second and I definitely do not regret changing my mind.”

Boyle’s favorite experience about the festival was the ax throwing. She said, “Even though I wasn’t that great at it, I still had a lot of fun learning a new technique.”

The Michigan Nordic Fire Festival is an annual event. For more information, visit their local website at http://www.michigannordicfirefestival.com/.

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