Here in Alberta, we’re very familiar with our western heritage, but we don’t really ever talk about our viking history. That’s right, our viking history.

This weekend, the Danish Canadian Museum in Dickson is inviting families to visit them as they celebrate their Viking Days.

Your first two questions:

Where is Dickson? It’s a small hamlet near Innisfail, about an hour and a half from Calgary.

What is the Danish Canadian Museum? It’s a really interesting museum that boasts over 5000 artifacts spread across thirteen acres of green space, that’s honours and celebrates Early Danish Canadian life.

Okay, three questions:

-What were you saying about the vikings?

I’m so glad you asked. Viking Days is the areas biggest event of the year and is attended by a thousand visitors. With the help of  of Viking re-enactment group (Odin’s Ravens) from Edmonton, visitors can tour the Viking encampment, showing living accommodations, cooking methods and crafts. You will also see Viking warriors demonstrate the use of swords, shields, axes and archery.

And what would Viking Days be without a kid-friendly sword fight? Don’t worry, Viking Days has that too. A favorite for everyone is the battle with the Vikings, where children are given “swords” to fight it out with the mighty, fearsome warriors. You’ll also find a variety of vendors selling their crafts with a Scandinavian flavor.  Be sure to enjoy Danish cuisine in the Saga Café.

The cost of the festival is very affordable, admission fees are $10 Adult, $5 Child (3-12 years), Free (2 and under).

Some other Viking Days highlights, include a performance by the Ollerup Elite Gymnastics Team from Denmark. There is also a special dinner called ‘Feast of the Vikings’. Includes an authentic Danish meal, tour the Viking village, experience some Viking history, and see them demonstrate a battle re-enactment.

If you’ve never been to Dickson or the museum, it really is a nice little hidden gem.  A perfect day trip from Calgary and a unique way to spend the end of your summer vacation.

Mike Morrison