A few thousand Vikings and Viking enthusiasts swarmed Anson Acres last weekend for three days filled with turkey legs, shields and all things Viking.
Full of vendors, live music, authentic Viking camps and competitions, the weekend festival did not disappoint attendees.
Tucked off the trail in the woods at Anson Acres were two Viking villages, where festival-goers could experience and see what it was like to live as a Viking.
Jack Hauswirth of Ohio, one of the attendees in town for the festival, said the villagers who are part of the reenactments are “living archeology.” Many Vikings in the Villages have said that many films depicting Vikings are not historically accurate.
Coleman Wooldridge from Alabama said he had been coming to Viking Fest for several years.
“It’s cool to see how big he’s grown,” Wooldridge said after one of his battle re-enactments. “My first year, there was only one village and now we have two activities and more.”
Throughout the weekend, several oriental-style battle re-enactments were performed in the Viking village. Before one of the battles, William Skagen, who was in town from Georgia, addressed the crowd and gave insight into the style of fighting, as well as how they did it back then. .
Eastern style combat is a more physical form of combat re-enactment. Vikings are allowed to hit each other in certain areas – the top and side of the head, chest, arms and even the groin. Hauswirth said Oriental-style combat shows how the Vikings fought with more precision, from their dress to battle.
Shows were also given throughout the weekend. Pictus, a Viking-themed band, danced with their bagpipes and drums, while AKA Tribal entertained the audience with traditional belly dancing.
Vendors have also been set up around the stage and field, selling everything from pork tenderloin to local honey.
The Whitestown Viking Fest was organized by the Whitestown Parks and Recreation Department.
“I think it went really well,” said event coordinator Alexa Lingg, “We went through some things and there are always things you can improve on, but it went really well. It seemed to come out bigger and better than the year before. Many suppliers have already asked us how to book for 2023.”