The fourth annual Taste of Norway, Lost Arts Fair and Fall Craft & Gift Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
All activities take place at the Iola Historical Society (IHS) Complex located at 210 Depot Street just west of downtown Iola.
Proceeds from the event will be used to fund the restoration of the historic Iola & Northern Railroad Depot, built in 1894.
Members of the Northland Church will explain and demonstrate how to make pastries ranging from lefse, smultrenger (fry cakes), krumkaka, sandbakkels, rosettes and fattigman.
Martha Cook and Bob Stamstad will be continuously demonstrating how to make lefse, while the other cooking demonstrations will be staggered over the timeframe of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The pastries – lefse, fry cakes, cookies and other homemade baked goods – will be available to purchase, while supplies last, and can be purchased in dozen and half-dozen increments.
“Taste of Pastry” samples with coffee will also be available for $1.50.
Iola’s Crystal Café will be selling food such as their barbecued pulled pork sandwiches.
Iola’s new bakery, Taste of Elegance, will have bars, cookies and other tasty treats for sale.
The Iola Lions will be holding a brat fry, which includes their famous Iola Lions Jumbo Hot Dog, with an option to have it placed in lefse rather than in a bun. They will also sell bratwurst and cheddarwurst.
A donation drop-box for used eyeglasses and hearing aids will be located next to the Lions food stand.
Lost Arts Fair
The popular Lost Arts Fair aspect of the event features artisans showing how things used to be done.
Lost arts will include: Rosemaling by Linda Kasten; blacksmithing by Clinte Danke, a.k.a. “Rusty Anvil”; yarn spinning by Ryan Danke; jewelry making by Patty Kirschner; sewing by Elizabeth Yeder; rug weaving by Gerry Johnson; basket weaving by Barb Johnson; and beekeeping by Leonard Haroldson.
Some of the artisans will have items for sale.
Children’s activities will take place in the replica vintage one-room schoolhouse, sponsored by the Sons of Norway’s Norskeland Lodge 5-580 of Iola.
Dubbed “The Troll’s Workshop,” this year’s program is a surprise.
The children’s program lasts 45 minutes to an hour. Each new session starts on the hour, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Sons of Norway are also supplying a vintage cornshucker, with plenty of corn cobs on hand so spectators can shuck corn the old-fashion way.
Fall Gift & Craft Show
The Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Fall Gift & Craft Show brings a variety of vendors to the event.
These vendors will be offering homemade caramels; framed artwork and pictures; unique jewelry, crafts; baby blankets, ponchos, aprons and kitchen towels; Alpaca caps, mittens and scarves; soy candles; stoneware pottery; sketched portraits drawn on site; original design natural-colored wood; handcrafted pins and magnets; lefse; standing sculptures; and Victorian soaps.
At press time, there were still a few open vendor spots. Contact Mary Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-445-4005 for availability.
Tours will be offered of all the on-site historic buildings. Iola Historical Society docents will provide information at each site.
The historic buildings on the grounds include: Helvetia Town Hall; a replica of Iola’s first fire station; replica of a one-room schoolhouse; a circa-1920s log cabin, originally used locally by hunters; and a vintage caboose.
The society’s museum will also be open during the event. It contains one of Wisconsin’s largest collections of Native American artifacts, vintage Norwegian immigrant items, the Stromberg violin collection, and many other items of local history.
The museum features artifacts of Lee Nelson, Iola’s “Humble Hero,” a B-17 bomber pilot who flew missions over France and Germany in World War II. Nelson’s autobiography published by the Iola Historical Society is available for sale at the event, along with other local history books. The newly named “Machine Shed” (222 Depot Street) contains vintage farming and manufacturing equipment used locally. The shed is where the Taste of Norway food court will be located.
Free fire extinguisher checks
The Iola & Rural Fire Department will hold its annual Free Fire Extinguisher Check inside the 1901 vintage fire station.
Department personnel will check and service personal handheld fire extinguishers to be sure they are current for use and insurance purposes.
The extinguisher program will be held in the replica Old Iola Fire Station on the grounds.
Door prizes will be given out.
The replica station contains Iola’s first three pieces of firefighting apparatus, dating from 1913, 1926 and 1942. The department will also have one of their current fire trucks at the site.
Historical Marker 6 will be unveiled at 2 p.m.
A recent project of the Iola Historical Society is to establish markers for historic events in the area.
Historical Marker 6 will honor Iola’s Dr. Loope, who was a member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s first football team.
Historic markers erected to date include:
• Marker 1 – 2009 – Iola Winter Sports Club.
• Marker 2 – 2010, Father’s Day Fire.
• Marker 3 – 2010, Birth of Numismatic News.
• Marker 4 – 2011, First Iola Old Car Show.
• Marker 5 –2012, Iola’s Early History.
Rebekah and Annie Wierzchowski of Iola will perform on violins during the event.
Rebecca has been playing violin for 12 years and teaching it for five years. Her younger sister Annie has been playing violin since she was five, and also sings in a beautiful operatic voice.
Both classically trained, the duo will perform classical pieces along with Norwegian folk tunes, Irish jigs, fiddle pieces and some musical/soundtrack solos.
Gary Larson will show a video, “A Trip Through Norwegian History,” in the society’s museum building at 210 Depot Street. The film runs approximately an hour, and will be shown continuously starting at 10 a.m., restarting on the hour.
Vintage farm tractors owned by members of the 2-Cylinder Tractor Club will also be on display throughout the Taste of Norway event.
For more information on the event, go to www.iolahistoricalsociety, www.ischamber.com or visit the I-S Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.
Raffle tickets available
Raffle tickets may be purchased during the Taste of Norway event. The cost per ticket is $5.
First prize in the raffle is a one-night stay at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, which was quite popular the last time it was offered as a raffle grand prize.
The second prize will be $100 cash. There will be many other prizes offered as well.
The raffle drawing will take place at 2:45 p.m.
Proceeds from the raffle will help fund the Iola Historical Society’s Iola & Northern Railroad Depot restoration.
The following area businesses are also selling raffle tickets: Iola – The Millstone, JD’s Corner Bar, Just Rusty’s, Depot Street Station, A Taste of Elegance, Crystal Café, Too-Dars Diner, Norm’s BP, Traci’s Mane Street Salon, Sweet Medicine; Scandinavia – Silver Lake Lanes, Little Norway; others – Sandbur Corners, Wings Inn, Club 161.