Manitoba

Icelandic Festival Islendingadagurinn gets underway in Gimli

The lakeside town of Gimli, Man. is playing host to a band of raucous Norse seafarers this weekend for the annual Icelandic Festival.

The festival that celebrates all things Icelandic runs July 29 to Aug. 1

Gimli's Icelandic Festival turns 127 years old this year. The fun gets underway July 29 to Aug. 1, 2016. 0:43

The lakeside town of Gimli, Man. is playing host to a band of raucous Norse seafarers this weekend.

Islendingadagurinn, the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, has been showcasing Icelandic culture for 127 years, including the Nordic country's Viking roots.

Robbie Rousseau, president of Islendingadagurinn, said the festival is one of North America's oldest ethnic festivals (the oldest is believed to be the Irish festival in Boston).

"We're pretty confident being number two," Rousseau said.

"A lot of people use Islendingadagurinn as a homecoming. People from all over the world come back to Gimli," he said.

The festival often sees Icelandic leaders fly over to drop in. This year, the country's culture minister, Illugi Gunnarsson, is attending, said Rousseau.

Aside from celebrating the culture and food of Iceland, there will be a sand castle contest, an arts show, fireworks rides and midway games and live music.

The bands playing this year, include:

  • Micah Visser
  • Sc Mira
  • The Noble Thiefs
Islendingadagurinn runs July 29 to Aug. 1.
The Icelandic Festival in Gimli includes a Viking Village. (CBC)