Minot, North Dakota, is proud of its Scandinavian heritage; even McDonald’s is decorated with flags and memorabilia from Scandinavia. Each fall, Minot’s fairgrounds are home to the Norsk Hostfest, a cultural celebration involving people in native dress, good food, and music.
In the center of Minot, however, is perhaps the most visible indicator of the city’s Scandinavian heritage: The Scandinavian Heritage Park.
Located at 1020 S. Broadway, the Scandinavian Heritage Park is open during the summer months and has no admission charge. Wandering along the sidewalk, visitors can step inside a grass-roof Stabbur or inside a replica of a stave church. Statues of people important in their home countries, such as Hans Christian Andersen and Leif Erikksen, and in the United States, like Minot resident Casper Oimoen, who was part of the 1932 and 1936 Olympic ski jumping teams, line the walkway. Waterfalls, common in the homeland, slow the motion of the stream that runs through the park.
Although it is possible to walk through the park and see everything briefly on a short visit, those who would like more in-depth information can stop in the on-site visitor center and talk with greeters when they are on duty.
Whether or not you have Scandinavian ancestry, the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota, provides a place to learn about the history and culture of a group of people who settled much of the Midwest.
Photo credits: minnemom on flickr
Linda (minnemom) writes about family travel at Travels with Children.