Norwegian pastries, lefse making and other crafts will be featured at Iola’s 5th annual Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Iola Historical Society Complex at 210 Depot Street just west of downtown Iola.
Proceeds from the event will help with the restoration of the historic Iola & Northern Railroad depot, built in 1894, along with other historical society needs.
Taste of Norway raffle tickets can be purchased locally from Iola Historical Society members and will also be available onsite the day of the event.
The first prize is a handmade afghan donated by Betty Aasen and crafted by Trudy Peterson. The afghan’s design is of the colonial-era 13-star American Flag.
The second prize is $50 cash, donated by Sharon Peterson.
There will also be over 30 merchant-provided prizes offered, including a “pool party” certificate from the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center.
The price per raffle ticket is $2, or three tickets for $5.
The drawing will take place at 2:45 p.m. at the end of the event.
Taste of Norway provides visitors with tastes of Norwegian pastries as well as demonstrations on how they are made.
Members of the Northland Lutheran Church will explain and demonstrate how to make pastries ranging from lefse, smultrenger (fry cakes), krumkaka, sandbakkels, rosettes and fattigman. The demonstrations run from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Martha Cook and Bob Stamstad will continuously demonstrate how to make lefse, while the other cooking demonstrations will be staggered over the Taste of Norway timeframe.
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 Norway samples with coffee will also be available for $1.50.
Iola businesses providing food at the event include Crystal Café, selling pies by the slice as well as whole pies, and Taste of Elegance, offering specialty breads.
The Iola Lions will hold a burger fry, along with grilled hot dogs from Pine Grove Meats of Iola. The Lions will offer the option of having the hot dog placed on lefse, locally made by Sherri Floistad, rather than on a bun.
The Lions will also collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids with a donation drop-box located near their burger fry booth.
The Lost Arts Fair aspect of the event offers artisans a chance to show how things used to be done.
Lost arts ranging from jewelry making (Patty Kirschner), rugweaving (Gerry Johnson), beekeeping (Leonard Haroldson), among others, will be demonstrated.
Some of the artisans 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,” the children’s program includes crafting projects, Norwegian folk tales and cupcakes.
Beginning at 10 a.m., each session lasts 45 minutes to an hour and starts on the hour.
The Sons of Norway will also supply a vintage corn shelling machine, with plenty of corn cobs on hand so spectators can shell corn the old-fashioned way.
The Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center will host a noncompetitive Kids’ Fun Run (ages 2-12) starting at 9 a.m.
The route is from the I-S School District’s bus garage at the corner of West State Street and Town Line Road.
There is a $7 fee for the run.
The Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Fall Gift & Craft Show coincides with the Taste of Norway events.
The vendors will offer a variety of items, including wool mittens, scarves, soaps, lotions; hand-painted wine bottle yard art, Norwegian wear, Alpaca products, jewelry; embroidery and crochet items, holiday decorations, soy candles, books, felt animals, towels, quilted items, baby quilts, caramels, doll clothes, metal garden-art sculptures, picture frames and women’s clothes.
At press time, there were still a few open vendor spots. For availability, contact Mary Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-445-4005.
Iola Historical Society docents will provide information on the historic buildings on the grounds.
These buildings include the Helvetia Town Hall, replica of Iola’s first fire station, replica of a one-room schoolhouse, circa-1920s log cabin and a vintage caboose.
The society’s museum will also be open during the event. The museum’s newly-made display cases contain Native American artifacts exhibit that is under development, vintage Norwegian immigrant items, the Stromberg violin collection, and many other items of local history.
Also featured is a display about Lee Nelson, Iola’s “Humble Hero.” Nelson was a B-17 bomber pilot who flew missions over France and Germany in World War II. His 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, including the recent acquisition of machines from Iola’s R.I. Anderson Machine Shop.
The Machine Shed is where the Taste of Norway food court will be located.
The Iola & Rural Fire Department will hold its annual fire extinguisher check at the 1901 vintage Iola fire station at the Iola Historic Village.
For a nominal charge of $5 per unit, Fire Pro, a licensed fire systems supplier, will provide on-site fire extinguisher checks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Personnel from the IRFD will check and service personal handheld fire extinguishers to be sure they are current for use and insurance purposes.
The replica station contains Iola’s first three pieces of firefighting apparatus, dating from 1913, 1926 and 1942.
The IRFD will also have one of its current fire trucks on display.
Vintage farm tractors owned by members of the Central Wisconsin Two-Cylinder Tractor Club will also be on display throughout the Taste of Norway event.
Visitors can also take a nice fall walk along the new Iola Lions River Walk that follows the Little Wolf River from North Main Street to Townline Road.
For more information on the event, go to www.iolahistoricalsociety, www.ischamber.com, or visit the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.