At one vendor’s booth at Norsk Høstfest, it’s a family affair with a cultural connection.
“My parents started coming to the Høstfest 20 years ago,” Kristie Fingerson said.
Twenty years before that, Fingerson’s grandmother came to the Norsk Høstfest to demonstrate tatting.
She told her son, Benjamin to pack up his Scandia kicksleds and sell them here.
“In Norway in the wintertime, you’ll see kicksleds lined up in front of the grocery stores,” Fingerson added.
After almost two decades, Ben’s daughter Kristie and her husband, Brent, took over the family business.
“We come because it’s so close to our heart,” said Fingerson.
Despite retiring, Ben and Linda Lind are still very much a part of Scandia Kicksleds.
“It opens to the public at 8 o clock and it closes at 8 o clock,” Linda said. “So we get here before that and we leave after that, so it’s a long day.”
A long day that’s well worth it.
“The people, to be able to interact with all the people here. It’s just like family coming here,” Benjamin Lind added.
And families can use the product the Linds are offering. The kicksleds are kind of like cross country skiing, only there’s a seat in the front, and a spot for someone to kick the sled in the back.
Fingerson said, “We’re the only importer in the United States that bring in these kicksleds from Tynset, Norway.”
The business has expanded quite a bit over the years, too.
“We have traditional jewelry from Norway, modern Norweigan jewelry that’s made in Oslo, we’ve had Finnish jewelry , Swedish jewelry.”
Many of the vendor booths here at Norsk Høstfest have a ton of ‘culturally appropriate’ things to buy. But something that stood out to me here is this mug for cream of lutefisk soup.
“I am entirely Scandinavian,” said Fingerson, and the love for Scandinavian heritage is being passed down to a fourth generation as well.
Some fun facts about this family —
The first one who came to the Høstfest, Ben Lind’s mother, loved it so much that she came until she was 100 years old.
Four generations later, Lind’s grandson, Drake, turned four-years-old just two days ago, and I was told he’s been asking about Høstfest since it ended last year.