There’s something about small town festivals that make you happy that you live in the Midwest.  This weekend, you can check out Nordic Fest in Decorah, and Houston Hoedown—aptly happening in Houston.  

Naturally, I’m drawn to the food on the Nordic Fest website.  And while I’m not totally sure exactly what Rommegrot is, I can read the recipe and see that it’s made with sugar and TWO WHOLE STICKS of BUTTER, so it can’t be too bad!  I fancy it’s quite tasty.  Butter makes everything better… and my butt bigger, but I digress.

Besides, if I eat it at Nordic Fest, I’d be eating in the company of three or more, so that means there are no calories, right?  I especially like the fact that it calls for ¾ cup of sugar… and then you sprinkle MORE sugar… and cinnamon on it before serving.  It sounds delicious… and like every dentist’s nightmare.  

Most of these festivals during the summer have their share of 5K runs, or some other athletic endeavor.  I absolutely love the fact that Nordic Fest has a couple of events that even a beer swilling country boy could partake in, like the “Nordic Fest Rock Throw,” and “Molkky.”

The rock throw is pretty self-explanatory, and is likely a real spectator-pleaser.  I would think some enterprising person with the festival should consider selling a sponsorship for the rock throwing event to a chiropractor.  That would be a partnership made in heaven.  

Molkky, on the other hand is quite different.  It’s like a combination between bowling and horseshoes… sort of.  You basically are throwing a wooden baton at pins in an effort to garner the most points.  I would never laugh at this sport, despite the temptation.  I’ve participated in curling before, and I can assure you there’s more to that sport than just winging a “stone” down the ice.  Of course, I’m an auto racing fan, so I understand how people who don’t “get” a sport will snort at it.  Regardless, these sound like a lot of fun to do.

Then there’s the Houston Hoedown this weekend.  They’re doing a different twist on the typical sporting run that most events have.  Theirs is a 2.5 mile run… but you’re encouraged to wear a cowboy hat… and a costume.  They’ll have prizes to award for the most creative, most “Hoedown-like,” and the funniest too.  That might be worthwhile and a real kick to do, if you’re a runner.

As for me, it’s been well-documented that I won’t run, unless my life is in eminent danger, so it’s unlikely that I’d be participating in a run of any sort; however, I wouldn’t mind seeing all of the participants with their creativity!

You can also check out the firefighter Water Fights at Houston Hoedown.  This is quite the spectacle, if you’ve never seen it.  Firefighters from various communities bring their “teams” to town to square off against other teams… with their hoses.  It’s sort of like tug-o-war, only it’s done with water from hoses aimed at a barrel on a cable.  You’re guaranteed to get a little misty… not from crying, but from the water–so it’s a great way to enjoy an event and stay cool–as well as support your local firefighters!

I also love that Houston Hoedown has an antique tractor and car show—as well as the very popular horse, truck and tractor pulls.  That’s some serious horse power there.  I’ve been to a few tractor pulls.  I like to drink beer in one of those resealable bottles… to prevent dirt from getting into my beverage!  

It’s my understanding that they draw a LOT of tractor pullers from around the area to take part in it—so it should be a great showing.  My husband and I are friends with Kurt Heyroth of Bangor, who drives a pulling truck that he did up to look like Tow Mater from the movie “Cars.”  I’m not sure if he’s going to the Hoedown pull or not—but he’s usually a crowd favorite wherever he goes—for obvious reasons.  

Enjoy the festivals this weekend—wherever you’re headed!  And good luck if you’re participating in any of the competitions.