The fourth annual Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair attracted a large crowd on Saturday, Oct. 5.
An estimated 1,200 people attended the event, up from 900 in 2012, according to Greg Loescher, president of the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Iola Historical Society. The two groups hosted the event, which was held at the Iola Historical Complex on Depot Street.
“Each year the Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair has grown, and this year’s event was the biggest yet,” Loescher said.
“We heard nothing but positives from attendees, many who had never been to our Iola Historical Society village before,” he said. “Our chamber’s Annual Fall Gift & Craft Show vendors did well with their wide range of handcrafted and homemade items. Food sales were exceptional.”
He noted that Crystal Café offered pulled pork sandwiches and homemade chips, the Iola Lions sold brats and hot dogs wrapped in lefse, and Taste of Elegance offered a wide variety of baked goods. This was in addition to the Norwegian pastry offerings from the Northland Lutheran Church ladies.
“Norwegian baking demonstrations were held throughout the event, and recipes were given to attendees interested in trying their hand at making their own treats,” Loescher said. “The Iola & Rural Fire Department’s free fire extinguisher check, held at the replica vintage fire station, was even better received than last year’s record.”
“As with previous years, the Sons of Norway’s Troll’s Workshop for kids was a big hit, especially since it is held in the replica rural one-room schoolhouse,” he added.
The Iola Historical Society and the I-S Chamber are already planning for next year’s event, which will be held Oct. 4, 2014.
“As with any event, we’re already jotting down notes to improve upon this year’s event to make next year’s event even better,” Loescher said.