A Viking festival is taking over Temagami this weekend.
The Temagami VikingFest will feature an Ontario-based Viking troupe, renowned for setting up a replica of a historical late 10th century Scandinavian village.
Visitors and re-enactors alike will be transported 1,300 years back in time to get a vivid glimpse of the Viking way of life.
The single-day event on Saturday takes place at the lawns of Andorra Accessible Cottages. It was the idea of Candice Rogerson and her husband David Schade, who run the local cottage rental, to bring this unique festival up to Temagami.
“We were looking for something to do that would bring the public in and be more like a day event,” Rogerson said.
“We were just trying to find something that was unique to the area and we contacted Sigtryggring.”
Founded in August of 2018, Sigtryggring is a Viking-age re-enactment group from the Greater Toronto Area that specializes in portraying late 10th century Viking life, crafts, combat style and cooking. The group runs these festivals in various cities and towns across Ontario.
“There’s lots of cool things to learn and we were just looking for something that was going to be unique and fun for people up north,” Rogerson said.
Avid Viking enthusiasts themselves, Rogerson and Schade previously lived in southern Ontario where they participated in the Gimli Icelandic Festival and performed historical re-enactments.
“Now we’re up here in Temagami, we don’t get to participate in it very much anymore,” Rogerson said.
Festivities throughout the day will include traditional musical performances and battle re-enactments led by seasoned experts.
“We were hoping to welcome lots of people to come and meet some Vikings and see how they lived and worked and they’re going to do all kinds of demonstrations.”
Rogerson hopes this will be an opportunity for not only the local Temagami community but also for those vacationing in the area to join in and learn about Viking culture.
“There’s lots of people that are real experts in textiles and clothing, tool making, metal working and they bring that sort of life to our lawn,” she added.
A popular Viking lawn game called ‘Kubb’ will also be set up, along with activities for children ranging from bracelet making stands to a weapon and armour displays.
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Hoping to make the Temagami VikingFest an annual event, Rogerson says so far they’ve sold over 100 tickets and look forward to a turnout of about 200 people.
“I’ve been to the community market and the grocery store and at the post office and around town and people are stopping me and saying oh I can’t wait, can’t wait for VikingFest. So I’m pretty excited!”