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Virtual Vista Viking Festival For 2021

A festival attendee uses her phone to record The Wolves Of Odin reenactment group encampment at the 2019 Vista Viking Festival.
Vista Viking Festival
A festival attendee uses her phone to record The Wolves Of Odin reenactment group encampment at the 2019 Vista Viking Festival.
San Diego climate advocates rallied in City Heights Thursday to encourage federal officials to do more to support legislation that aims to control climate change. Meanwhile, continued droughts are forcing the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask water agencies to voluntarily conserve water. Plus, the annual Vista Viking Festival will be online once again this year.

The annual Vista Viking Festival will be online again for 2021. Every summer community groups in Vista come together to put on the festival which celebrates Norwegian culture and includes arts and crafts booths, local craft mead, Viking reenactment groups, music, axe throwing and blacksmithing. The festival was also online in 2020 due COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

“Well, if you've ever heard of a Renaissance fair, it's like a Renaissance fair only 500 years earlier in history,” said James Nelson-Lucas, Director of Public Relations and Media for the Vista Viking festival. “Things with COVID have been in such flux, we weren't able to guarantee that we could pull off the festival that we know we are capable of under (pandemic-related) restrictions ... We didn't think we had the ability to make sure that everybody was going to be safe. So we've been having smaller events with smaller crowds where we can control the safety issues better. And frankly, we weren't able to get all of the permits we would have needed. Cities and counties weren't issuing the permits we needed at the time.”

The festival is collectively put together by the Norway Hall Foundation which owns the property, the Sons Of Norway, the Norwegian Fish Club Odin and the The Daughters of Norway.


“It's based a lot on just good fellowship and the love of fighting with swords and shooting arrows and stuff like that. But the main thing is good fellowship," said Nelson-Lucas. "Also, the Viking people are very concerned with caretaking of the environment, and their family and their friends. It's not all blood thirsty killing and stuff. We really want to show at the festival what the life of the Norse people during the Viking Age was like, and most of it was not battling and fighting. Most of it was being merchants, and being farmers, and being businessmen and manufacturers.”

So how would a festival for celebrating Vikings work online?

“The main outlet will be on Facebook. We've got it set up to run on (our Facebook page) where we'll be doing some live programming and some pre-recorded programming. We're going to be putting that up on our YouTube page shortly after it goes out live on Facebook,” said Nelson-Lucas.

A list of upcoming events and how to access them will also be on the festival's website. The virtual Vista Viking Festival runs September 25 and 26, but there are some small in-person events happening before then, as well as a "Valhallaween" escape room experience scheduled for October.

To hear the full interview with James Nelson-Lucas, check out the San Diego News Now podcast hosted by Annica Colbert.

The annual Vista Viking Festival will remain online this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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