New Nordic Fire Festival heats up central Michigan

Mid-Michigan residents can warm-up during the final blasts of winter as community organizers bring the first-ever Nordic Fire Festival to Charlotte in late February.
Fire dancers, live music, and a chance taste and sample mead and Scandinavian and Nordic craft beers keep the blood pumping, while family-friendly competitions like hammer throwing, horn blowing, traditional archery and a cardboard ship sled race give guests plenty to do. Other festival features include a Viking camp, kid's tent, and a medieval feast including smoked turkey legs, hearty soups and bread bowls. Drawing on the popularity of tested festivals rooted in the Middle Ages, organizers are also encouraging guests to dress up in Viking-gear.
"It's going to be really, really fun," says Brian Myrkle, chair of the festival's planning committee. "We're catering to both traditionalists as as well as people who simply want to come out, have fun and even dress in costumes."
The festival came about in response to a slew of community feedback suggesting a winter festival that could melt winter doldrums, draws tourists and builds community in Charlotte.
"We're a great small, mid-American town, but we don't have the natural resources that drives a lot of tourism trade," Myrkle says. "We have to be a little more creative in terms of how we make people more aware of who we are. A big strategy is more events and festivals that give people a reason to give Charlotte a try."
The Michigan Nordic Fire Festival runs February 26-28 in Charlotte, Mich. More information is available here, and festival goers can follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter at #beaweekendviking.
Source: Bryan Myrkle, Chair, Michigan Nordic Fire Festival Planning Committee
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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