Ashville Viking Festival

9.) Ashville Viking Festival – April 30, 2011

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When I first heard that there was a Viking Festival in Ashville, Ohio, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had passed through the town once before and I remembered it being very small (4,000 people).

There was further reluctance when I remembered Ashville’s historical claim of having the oldest working traffic light – not something that exactly advertises fun. Granted, it’s also the birthplace of adult star legend John Holmes, but I was fairly sure that his career did not influence festival planning.

Still, I decided to give it a shot…

…taking along the most Viking-esque piece of clothing I had…

…heading to the giant Viking ship anchored in the middle of Ashville…

…and doing my best to integrate with the peeps.

This was REALLY easy to do, being that many people were dressed up as…

…Vikings…

…elves and Medieval people…

…gypsies…

…super warriors…

…and even ancient Romans.

Thanks to the festival’s allowance of re-enactors of other time periods for educational purposes…

…you had a cornucopia of history set up in one re-enactment village…

…where guests learned all about ancient games…

…fighting…

…and even how to check your urine for disease.

But, more importantly, these different groups of people interacted effortlessly with both the general public and with each other, making the festival a truly entertaining one.

In fact, Micha Hilliard and Mika Johnson, who accompanied me on this adventure, shot and edited a great video that should help you get a better sense of the people at the Ashville Viking Festival. With their permission, I’ll give you a chance to check that out before moving on.

Vikings! from Micha Hilliard on Vimeo.

Staying with the theme, the festival held the Saxon Market…

…where people of all dress could purchase…

…oils and furs…

…various weapons galore…

…and costumes for themselves…

…or even for their dolls.

But if the kids didn’t have time for toys, it was because they were active. Plenty of activities awaited, including…

…a jump house…

…an entire combat area and playground…

…camel rides…

…and even crafts.

Adults were also entertained…

…whether from the stage performances…

…or inside the two dining halls.

Here…

…as guests ate their soup bowls and turkey legs…

…belly dancers motioned the death of those who watched them…

…and Kilrush rocked some fine melodies…

…making that red velvet cake taste all the sweeter.

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