The Midwest’s largest viking festival finds a permanent home at UW-Green Bay

At the Green Bay Viking Festival two Viking clash weapons during a battle reenactment at UW-Green Bay Viking House grounds on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Green Bay Viking Festival

Green Bay, Wis.—On Friday and Saturday, Sep. 23 and 24, Vikings from near and far will gather and raise an encampment on the UW-Green Bay Viking House grounds (near Wood Hall) on the Green Bay campus. This year, UW-Green Bay will become the permanent host of the Midwest’s largest festival, previously held in Fargo/Moorehead, North Dakota. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public and free to attend.

Viking festivals are celebrations of Scandinavian history and culture. More than sixty Vikings will set up a large camp to demonstrate blacksmithing, silversmithing, wood carving and turning, textile arts, glass bead making, cooking, storytelling, singing, archery, and battle reenactments.  To kick off the festival, special guest Thomas Risom from Ribe, Denmark will give a talk on Viking beadcraft at the Weidner Center on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

Prof. Heidi Sherman, a professor of history and director of the Viking House said the festival is a chance for people to better understand both the Vikings and the history of traditional Scandinavian handcraft.

“Our festival shows another side of the stereotypical Viking fighter.  They were also people who built beautiful things with great skill and respect for the natural world,” said Sherman. “The artists at the festival study archaeology and material culture to be as authentic in their work as possible, and they love sharing living history with the public.”

This is an all-ages festival with activities for kids (archery, a Viking Quest, and kubb.)  Food will be available for purchase from Bacon Burger Co. and Caribbean Cruiser.

The UW-Green Bay Viking House was completed in Stratford, Wis. in 2011 by Owen and Elspeth Christianson. The house is based on meticulous research of the Viking-age building traditions in Norway. The Christiansons’ plan was to use the house for reenactment and educational purposes. This dream was fulfilled in 2013, as the couple began to host UW-Green Bay students for Viking camp weekends. This in turn, inspired students to start archaeology studies and design a 3D model of the house. In 2017, the Christiansons donated the house to UW-Green Bay to be used for educational hands-on learning.

Members of the media are welcome to attend. View the full weekend schedule.

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit


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