Iola hosting Taste of Norway
Event features pastries, crafts, cooking demonstrations
By Greg Loescher
Norwegian pastry making, lefse making and lost arts are featured at the sixth annual Taste of Norway & Lost Arts Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
The free event is held at the Iola Historical Society complex at 210 Depot St., just west of downtown Iola.
Proceeds from the event will help pay for the restoration of the historic 1894 Iola & Northern Railroad depot.
The Taste of Norway provides tastes of various Norwegian pastries, including lefse, smultrenger (fry cakes), krumkaka, sandbakkels, rosettes and fattigman. From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., members of the Northland Church will explain and demonstrate how to make various pastries, which will be available for purchase.
The cooking demonstrations will include Martha Cook and Bob Stamstad making lefse.
The Crystal Café will sell pies by the slice as well as whole pies, pulled pork sandwiches and homemade chips and dip. Iola’s newest bakery, Taste of Elegance, will have specialty breads for sale.
The Iola Lions Club will hold a brat fry, along with grilled hot dogs, with an option to have the hot dog placed in lefse rather than a bun.
The Lions will also collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids with a donation drop-box.
Taste of Norway raffle tickets will be available for $2 each or three tickets for $5. The grand prize is a 95-by-95-inch handmade quilt valued at $2,000, with over 30 additional prizes. The drawing will take place at 2:45 p.m., at the end of the event.
The Lost Arts Fair features artisans ranging from jewelry making, rosemaling, rugweaving and beekeeping. Some of the artisans have items for sale.
Children’s activities in the one-room schoolhouse are sponsored by the Sons of Norway Norskeland Lodge 5-580 of Iola. The children’s program lasts 45 minutes to an hour, with new sessions starting on the hour, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Peterson Mill 4-H Club will host a petting zoo next to the schoolhouse. The zoo offers children a a hands-on experience with goats, ponies, rabbits, chickens and other farm animals.
The Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual Fall Gift & Craft Show includes wool mittens, handmade soaps, Norwegian wear, jewelry, holiday decorations and candles.
Vendors interested in exhibiting can contact Jodi Schmoldt at 715-630-2597 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or pick up an application at the Iola Old Car Show offices at 160 N. Chet Krause Dr. The vendor spots cost $30 each and are located in two tents next to the Machine Shed at 222 Depot Street.
Iola Historical Society docents will provide information on the historic buildings on the grounds, which include the Helvetia Town Hall, a replica of Iola’s first fire station, replica of a one-room schoolhouse, a circa-1920s log cabin, and the original Iola & Northern Railway depot, currently under restoration.
The society’s museum will also be open during the event. The museum’s displays contain Native American artifacts, vintage Norwegian immigrant items, the Stromberg violin collection, and many other items of local history.
Also featured is a display about Lee Nelson, Iola’s “Humble Hero.” Nelson was a B-17 bomber pilot who flew missions over France and Germany in World War II. His autobiography is available for sale, along with other local history books.
The Machine Shed contains vintage farming and manufacturing equipment used locally, including items from Iola’s R.I. Anderson Machine Shop. The Machine Shed is where the Taste of Norway food court will be located.
The Iola & Rural Fire Department will hold its annual fire extinguisher check at the vintage fire station. The department will provide on-site fire extinguisher checks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $5 per unit.
Members of the Central Wisconsin Tractor Club will have classic tractors on display.