Vikings are Coming to Whitestown
Writer // Janelle Morrison
Photography // Submitted
The world of the Vikings will soon be brought to life through reenactments of the seafaring explorers’ Scandinavian culture. Noble Order Brewing Company, J&J Winery and the Town of Whitestown have teamed up to put on this three-day festival that the organizers hope will become an annual regional attraction.
The festival will take place on a newly acquired tract of land by Whitestown April 20-22. The 15-acre piece of land is just off I-65 and Exit 133 and will be transformed into a Viking Village. Invited exhibitioners and vendors will set up a temporary village and demonstrate archery, fire juggling, ax throwing, glass blowing, authentic blacksmith work, chainmail work and other activities throughout the festival. There will be a bonfire throughout the event and live music by local Celtic bands, Highland Reign on Friday and Blackthorn’s Bards on Saturday.
“This 15-acre piece of land was officially acquired by the Town of Whitestown in January of 2018,” said Nathan Messer, Parks and Recreation Director. “With an all-natural setting that includes a large, wooded portion, it’s a perfect location for this event. Whitestown plans to develop the land into a future park, and we hope to host Whitestown Viking Fest here for years to come.”
The festival is family-friendly and will have a kid’s corner where young warriors can enjoy making their own sword and shield, launch water balloons with a catapult and enjoy a game of Kubb, an ancient Viking game that was played in celebration of conquering a village.
The festival will highlight authentic battle reenactments put on by three armored combat groups, thrilling festivalgoers with high-action fighting demonstrations. The festival will close with a Viking breakfast feast on Sunday and an authentic Viking funeral at which a Viking boat will be set aflame in keeping with ancient Viking tradition.
This will be the fifth year the Noble Order Brewing has hosted its Viking Festival, which originated at their brewery/winery in Richmond, Indiana. This will be the first year for the festival to be held in Whitestown and the first event to be held on the new developing park.
“Viking Fest will be a fun event for the whole family,” says Mike Miller, co-owner of Noble Order Brewing. “Visitors can travel back in time, so to speak, and see the way food and goods were made during the Viking Age. We hope families will make an entire weekend of it and truly become immersed in the Viking culture.”
Miller said that more activities and vendors are being added to the festival lineup, and an up-to-date schedule can be viewed on the festival’s Facebook page at VikingFestWhitestown.
“We’ve got vendors coming from all around the Midwest and a large Viking group coming down from Kalamazoo, Michigan,” Miller said. “When we were hosting the festival in Richmond, it was turning into a really nice Midwest festival, and then we took a break for two years. That’s why we wanted to pick it back up and bring it to Whitestown. It will be an educational and interactive experience that we think people will really enjoy.”
Miller said there will be a caricature artist onsite, and festival-goers are highly encouraged to come in costume or their best Viking-themed attire. Noble Order Brewing will have its Viking Ale and Mead, craft beers and wines onsite for purchase, and there will be an assortment of authentic Viking-themed foods also available for purchase. Rusted Silo will be roasting a pig onsite. There will also be turkey legs and smoked meats, and Grilliant Foods will be offering its Scotch eggs as well as cider for the kids. Guests should plan to bring cash since the festival will not be set up for WiFi purchases.