Come celebrate the heritages!

Annual Scandinavian Festival

Drawing visitors and vendors from throughout the Northeast US for thirty-five years, Scandinavian Fest is the largest all-Nordic festival in the US. A true Nordic-only event, ScanFest is a heritage festival to celebrate and promote the cultures, traditions, and current life of the Nordic regions & peoples of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden with wide variety of traditional foods (as well as customary festival fare for the less adventurous) plus a wide variety of handcraft items and imported gifts by over fifty vendors.

The Fest is held on the Sunday of (US) Labor Day weekend, which will be Sunday, September 3 in 2023, from 10 AM to 6 PM. The current schedule, flyers with discount admission, list of vendors, entertainers, can be found on the website. Discounted, advanced-sale tickets are on sale at the tickets page. Every member of the family will love this remarkable event. All ages attend.

Those interested in learning more about their Nordic heritage and anyone curious about things Scandinavian are invited to sample what's at ScanFest: good food, good works, good shows, good people, and good times.

Above: Iva Voice and Music will perform. Below: Direct from Sweden and a ScanFest exclusive US engagement, Telge Glima Swedish Wrestlers is a fascinating group with a mutual interest in history and practice to show old Norse sports and competition. Extremely talented and popular athletes, they excite audiences with their games of strength, skill, and daring.

2022 highlights

  • Iva Voice & Music LLC
  • Oscar Stenmark Duo: traditional Sandinavian music
  • Daughters of Scandinavia: Hardanger Fiddles
  • Swedish Meatballs: Accordion Music for Listening & Dancing
  • Skansen Children's Club: Scandinavian folk dancers
  • Spirit of Scandinavia: Swedish Jazz
  • Smörgåsbandet: More Accordion Music
  • Magnus Martensson: Hilarious comedy ala Victor Borge
  • Hanne Ladefoged-Dollase: Classical soprano
  • Westminster Conservatory of Music: Vocals
  • The Sloshbucklers: Axe throwing & encampment
  • Telge Glima: VIking Games & Contests of stremght & skill
  • Leif Erickson Boat: full sized recreation
  • Norwegian Faering Boa: full scale reproduction
  • Viking age weaponry & armor (New!): talk and demonstration
  • Viking Jerk (yeh-rick) & Vladimir
  • and...The 12th annual Wife Carrying contest !

Five stages of continuous entertainment throughout the day feature music & dance ranging from traditional Nordic folk to classical to jazz to contemporary world music by a variety of accomplished and exceptional emerging talent. There's even a separate stage and a special activities area for kids, as well as a field arena and combat/contest area. All that, plus demonstrators, encampments, Norse combat, Viking ships, talks, demos, handcrafts, and much more.

There's a discounted, advanced-sale price of $11. At the gate is $14, Seniors $13. There's also a flyer to download from the website with a $13 admission coupon to bring. You can ge t discount tickets here. Admission is FREE to those wearing authentic Nordic regional folkdress …. and FREE for children 12 and under. Come enjoy an event that's just a bit different. It's a Smörgåsbord of Fun!

ScanFest welcomes food and craft / gift vendors with a Nordic theme, entertainers, performers/presenters/reenactors with a Scandinavian theme and encourages other Nordic organizations to participate at the info tents. There's info and application forms on the website for that. If you or your organization would like to participate as a vendor, exhibitor, demonstrating artisan, entertainer, reenactor… check the website for info or email.

The event is held at the NJ Vasa Park, 1 Wolfe Road, Budd Lake, NJ, 07828. It's an easy day-trip from most Northeast locations. Simply take I-80 Westbound in NJ to X-26 onto US Route 46 WEST (twd. Hackettstown). Follow US46 West for 3 miles to the first traffic light after Budd Lake at Wolfe Road. Left onto Wolfe Road & 1/4 mile to Vasa Park on the right.

  • From NYC & No.Jersey: GWBridge or I-280 to I-80West. X-26off I-80W then as above.
  • From Long Island & Staten Island: NY/NJ 440 W from Verazzano & Outer- bridge Crossing & past the GS Pkwy & NJ Tpk. NJ 440 W becomes I-287 N. I-287 N about 20 mi to exit for US 206 North (just AFTER the exit for I-78). US 206 N 10 mi (thru Chester) to I-80 W. FIRST exit, #26, off I-80 W then as above.
  • From Philly & So. Jersey: PA Turnpike/NJ Turnpike (X-10) or GS Pkwy (X-127) to NJ440W/I-287N. NJ 440 W becomes I-287 N. Use I-287 North to US 206 North (just AFTER the exit for I-78). US 206 N 10 mi to I-80 W then as above.
  • From Eastern PA: US 202 or I-295/206 N to Somerville, NJ. Then US 206 N 10 mi to I-80 W then as above.
  • From the Poconos & Del.W.Gap: I-80 East to X-27(!). At exit, keep left & return BACK onto I-80 West. X-26 off I-80 W then as above.
  • From the Lehigh Valley: I-78/US22 East thru Phillipsburg to NJ57. NJ57 thru Washington to Hackettstown. In Hackettstown, US 46 East 3 mi to the light at Wolfe Rd. Right onto Wolfe Road.

ScanFest is produced by Scandinavian Fest, Inc., an independent, NJ non-profit educational corporation with 501(c)3 status. It’s neither a fundraiser for nor an affiliate of any organization but exists solely to celebrate the traditions. Excepting hired set-up labor, ScanFest is organized and staffed entirely by volunteers. We welcome volunteers!

Nearby accommodations and attractions

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    3055 River Road, Bedminster

  • Denville Detour: Jonathan’s Woods and More!

    Even today, if you needed a natural hideout—a really good one—Jonathan’s Woods could work.

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  • Millstone Scenic Byway

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  • Cross Estate Gardens

    Part of the Morristown National Historic Park, the formal walled garden, 200-foot wisteria-covered pergola, mountain laurel allee and North American perennials garden was designed by local landscape architect Clarence Fowler.

    Old Jockey Hollow Rd. , Bernardsville

  • Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve

    Paths of green, fields of gold!

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More...

This story was first published: Summer, 2011