Islendingadagurinn is coming property — but really do not count on a parade.

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba announced past week that it will host a blend of digital and in-person functions in the city of Gimli this August extensive weekend. Following last year’s electronic program, it is a return to some semblance of standard for the festival’s 131st anniversary.

“There was a lot of fantastic things that arrived up, but competition weekend by itself was very lonely,” suggests festival president Jenna Boholij. “The Icelandic flags ended up still flying but there have been no parties and there was no massive celebration it was bizarre.”

Boholij has been attending the festival with family members her entire life. “I have under no circumstances missed 1,” she suggests. She grew to become president of the group in 2020, ahead of the event’s initially — and ideally only — virtual celebration amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Past calendar year, the event was pressured to pivot to a socially distanced garden parade in Gimli and on the internet video clip displays, as very well as a virtual enjoyable run and sandcastle-creating contest. The latter was a key hit, with out-of-towners and expats with a link to Icelandic Fest taking part from as significantly away as the United Kingdom and Australia.

Though the organizers are keen to return to in-person occasions, some hybrid functions, like the sandcastle contest, will probably become a long-lasting fixture going ahead.

“It exceeded our expectations,” Boholij suggests of the competition. “It was truly neat to see all these people that have ties to the festival who couldn’t make it in a common year… be able to be a part of in and reminisce on festivals earlier.”

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The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba features a sand castle making contest.

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KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG No cost Press data files

The Icelandic Competition of Manitoba attributes a sand castle generating contest.

This yr, the determination to host in-individual festivities was manufactured at the 11th hour.

“We ended up hanging in there until eventually the close, due to the fact we have been definitely hopeful observing the vaccination (fees) get increased and the circumstances get lessen,” Boholij states. “It was really like the great storm.”

Though several other summer time festivals have been identified as off for a second year, Icelandic Fest is equipped to modify its system to suit with latest public overall health limits. The pageant is a series of small situations that just take place all above Gimli and typically attract a group of an estimated 50,000 persons throughout the weekend. Organizers have cancelled situations — these kinds of as the once-a-year parade — that would see numerous people today congregating in a single area in favour of things to do that can be accomplished safely and securely from a distance.

In-human being gatherings include things like the Fris-nok match (where by players launch Frisbees at beer bottles perched on poles), art show, Icelandic fashion show, sandcastle contest on Gimli seaside and the conventional method, which include the crowning of this year’s Fjallkona (or Maid of the Mountain), 98-year-aged Anna Stevens.

There will also be a craft current market, food stuff suppliers, beer gardens and reside new music in the course of the pageant from July 30 to Aug. 2.

“It’s large, it’s exciting, it’s nerve-racking,” Boholij says when asked how she feels about a return to stay occasions. “This is a first step to receiving back again to that feeling of ordinary.”

All functions are subject to change based on general public wellbeing restrictions. The pageant is nonetheless seeking for volunteers — visit icelandicfestival.com to use and observe updates foremost up to the weekend.

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Twitter: @evawasney

Eva Wasney

By Harmony