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Celebrating Scandinavian culture

Editor’s note: Grass Valley resident Arline Kenney, of full Norwegian descent, is excited about the coming Viking Fair to be hosted by the local chapter of Sons of Norway.

What is your mission?

Promote and preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, celebrate our relationship with other Nordic countries and provide quality insurance and financial products to members.



What is your yearly budget, and how many paid employees do you have?

Gulldalen Lodge has no paid employees and relies entirely upon volunteers to conduct the business of the lodge.




Our budget is about $8,000 this year. We support the Sons of Norway Foundation, District 6 functions, Camp Norge at Alta, Calif., the Hilmen Kjorlie Scholarship Fund, local charities and Scandinavian cultural events in Nevada County.

This year, the lodge replaced a white-tip Norway spruce that had been planted in 1870 in the rose garden of St. Joseph’s Cultural Center.

We also “sail” the “Viking Båten” in parades and received third place in the Constitution Day Parade in September.

What is your history?

Gulldalen Lodge 6-128 was chartered Nov. 20, 1982. Past International President Hilmen Kjorlie was instrumental in forming the lodge and continued to guide and support us until his death.

Our first lodge president was Julie Anne Droivold. Sons of Norway has nearly 400 lodges and 8,000 members across the United States, Canada and Norway.

Originally, members had to be of nordic birth or descent, but since 1996, anyone interested in our mission may join.

Who is your primary audience?

Those interested in Norwegian heritage and culture, including crafts, food and cooking, genealogy research, rosemaling (painting), Hardanger embroidery, making lefse, decorative sandwiches, Norwegian cookies, bunads (national costumes), jewelry, book reading, and traditional holiday celebrations such as May 17 (Norwegian Independence Day) and Christmas are featured at lodge meetings and other events.

List your biggest achievements.

Lodge members build the “Viking Båten” that has sailed in area parades.

What is your No. 1 short-term goal?

Present a successful and interesting Viking Fair this month (see below).

What is your No. 1 long-term goal?

Make the community aware of our activities, continue to share our heritage, culture and fraternalism, and encourage participation.

What are your major fundraisers and dates?

Viking Fair: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, by Gate 2,

Events will include Scandinavian vendors and local rosmaling artist Julie Anne Droivold, nordic “white elephants,” traditional baked goods, lefse-making demonstrations and lefse, fresh waffles, open-faced sandwiches, meatballs and lingonberries and Viking hot dogs.

Live music will be offered by Ben and Patsy Hannebrink (guitar and accordion), Walter Grob (accordion) and Sherrick Hiscock (clarinet).

A “fjell” rya rug, handmade by members, will be raffled; tickets are $1 and include a free door prize ticket.

Other fundraisers have been lutefisk and meatball dinners, luncheons featuring open-faced sandwiches, and yard sales.


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