Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lutefisk Unleashed!

Is anyone in the Twin Cities looking for something to do this weekend that mixes fun activities with Norwegian culture? If so, I've got the perfect thing for you.

This past Wednesday I was slowly making progress on some writing projects that had been on my desk far too long. I was knee deep in updates to internal documents and wrapping up some info for the November Viking magazine when a call came in that would instantly grab my attention and give me a good shot of wonder, which I was in serious need of. I picked up the receiver and said hello.

A pleasant voice on the other end responded with, "Hi, Mr. Evans, I'm a reporter with the Chaska Harald and I'm calling to see if you know anything about Lutefisk tossing?"

Now I've worked with reporters from all sorts of media outlets from the Blaine Banner to USA Today. I started my career more than a decade ago at one of the eminent PR firms in Minneapolis and had some great mentors who prepared me to respond to almost any question in any situation imaginable. Yet there are still situations that I don't think anyone could prepare for.

Like this one.

Which is why my initial response was, "Uh...I'm sorry...would you mind repeating that?"

I know, real eloquent, right? I sure earned my paycheck on that one.

I'll save you the play by play, but the reporter went on to tell me about a Sons of Norway lodge in Waconia, MN who is hosting the second annual Nordic Music Festival at Lake Waconia Regional Park. As part of the day dedicated to celebrating Nordic music, there is going a contest where teams of individuals will compete in the ultimate test of precision and skill (if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about the lutefisk tossing).

According to event planner and Scandia Lodge President, Dick Keller, "There’ll be a 5-gallon pail at one end of the toss area. We’ll cover the ground with plastic sheeting and we’ll have a backboard. We don’t want to contaminate the grass even though it [lutefisk] is considered by some as a Scandinavian delicacy.

“We’ll have a line about 25 feet back from the pail. Each member of each team will have three tosses to get the lutefisk into the pail. The team that gets the most in the pail wins the prize, which is a handsome trophy with a fish on top."

Dick admits its goofy, but I think it sounds like a great time and I'm encouraging everyone to go. I may even try to get down to Waconia to check it out myself. If you want to learn more about the event, you can get the full info from the news article found here.

In the meantime, if you want to see what a lutefisk toss looks like, check out this video from Two Harbors, MN.

Ok, next week I'll be reporting live from Norsk Høstfest. Make sure to come back to see all the excitement in Minot, ND!

1 comment:

MJ said...

Why would one toss perfectly good lutefisk when one could eat it? You folks in MN sure do some crazy things. :)