I just love city-wide festivals.  The more obscure the better in my opinion.  In Rock Island, Illinois, the Ya Maka My Weekend festival is a great celebration of Jamaican culture.  Up the river a bit, Fulton, has Dutch Days where people parade down Main Street in wooden shoes (after they sweep the road of course).

credit: Lori Stage
credit: Lori Stage

Scandihoovian Winter Festival

Every February, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin comes together...party to celebrate its Scandinavian heritage and partly to celebrate winter with the Scandihoovian Winter Festival every year.

Known for its red pointy hats, this festival is a one-of-a-kind winter experience for locals and visitors alike.

Photo by Sarah Mae on Unsplash
Photo by Sarah Mae on Unsplash

History of This Fun Winter Festival

Sometime in 2011, folks noticed a familiar pattern that always emerged after the holidays - people got cranky. Determined to do something about it, they had the idea to start a winter festival. The festival founders wanted to bring people together, get them out of their homes, and make them less cranky.

And so, the Scandihoovian Winter Festival was born.

As a part of the fun, "Scandihoovian was once used as a derogatory term towards Scandinavian immigrants but has since been embraced by group.


But What's With The Red Hat?

In Norway and Denmark, red pointy hats are worn by the "nisse", and in Sweden, they are worn by the "tomte".  You probably know someone who has a gnome in their home or yard with a big pointy red hat.  That's what these are.

In Mount Horeb, these red pointy hats have become a symbol of the festival and you don't have to be nisse or tomte.  They are worn by anyone who wants to join in the fun.

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What To Do at Scandihoovian Winter Festival

With its unique events and celebration of Scandinavian heritage, The Scandihoovian Winter Festival offers unique indoor and outdoor activities February 10-12, 2023.

From the snow sculptures to the frozen turkey bowling, there's something for everyone.

  • Fat tire bike race with 2.5-mile, 5-mile, and 10-mile courses
  • Snow sculptures
  • Norwegian kids' games
  • Krumkake making demonstration
  • Adult spelling bee competition
  • Frozen turkey bowling

So don a red hat, head to Mt Horeb, and enjoy winter the Scandihoovian way. No crankiness allowed.

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