The final day of Hostfest

Saturday afternoon appeared to be a busy one at the Norsk Hostfest on the State Fairgrounds. The annual Scandinavian festival began with a Tuesday night concert by Frank Sinatra, Jr. and concluded with legendary country band Alabama performing Saturday evening in the Great Hall of the Vikings.

Saturday’s entertainment also included an afternoon performance by the Happy Together Tour, a collection of artists known for their music in the 1960s and ’70s. Some of the Hostfest attendees at that concert indicated they intended to remain at Hstfest throughout the day and attend Alabama later in the evening.

Free stages and food are two other big draws at Hostfest. So too is a variety of other artisans, vendors and the occasional acts that just are part of friendly atmosphere of Hostfest.

Bertha and Dale Darras of Minot could be found Saturday afternoon in Oslo Hall, where they were enjoying stage performances. The Darras’ watched the Abba Girlz complete their stirring tribute to the band Abba and were eagerly awaiting the next act, long-time Hostfest fixture Bjoro Haaland.

“I’ve been working here for about 10 years, parking motor homes,” said Dale Darras.

Darras was comfortably seated in a wheelchair.

“I’m laid up right now but I’ve got a good seat,” said Darras. “I like the music.”

Bertha Darras said she enjoyed rice pudding, potato klub and lefse at Hostfest, but agreed that music was a big reason for attending.

“I like all the music. I like to sit and listen to Bjoro Haaland and everybody,” she said.

A few minutes earlier, in Stockholm Hall, Scandi Ski proved to be crowd pleasing. Scandi Ski is a group of young Minot dancers who perform choreographed movements while wearing skis. A large crowd gathered around them to get a glimpse of their performance. They were followed by dancers, some from the crowd, gathered around the Maypole. An audience pleaser was the lively “Chicken Dance.”

A few feet away a number of Hostfest goers were comfortably camped in Stressless reclining chairs. From all appearances, a few were even sleeping despite the music and activity a short distance away.

Brian Smith, Bismarck, was enjoying his comfort in a Stressless chair. He was wide awake too.

“My mom bought me this sweater for my birthday,” remarked Smith while displaying the sweater he was wearing. “I’m from out of state but my wife is from Minot. She told me that, at some time, I’d become a true North Dakotan. I think this sweater is going to make that happen.”

Smith’s mother was sitting a chair and listening to her son’s remarks. She nodded her approval, adding that she liked the Hostfest ‘food, people, music, sweaters and everything.”

A few minutes later Brian Smith surrendered his comfy chair. It was quickly taken by another Hstfest visitor looking to get off her feet for a few minutes.

Hstfest was scheduled to conclude at midnight Saturday following its final night dance at Tromso Hall.