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Vikings conquer Trumbull

Submitted photo One of the new entertainment acts scheduled for this weekend’s Ohio Viking Festival is The Crossjacks from Tennessee.

Trumbull County Fairgrounds will turn back the clock more than a millennium this weekend with the Ohio Viking Festival.

Festival owner Jessy Harper said the festival, now in its seventh year, has continued to grow, not including the hiccup caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the event in 2020 and shrank it last year.

“We had a lot of vendors who didn’t want to come back (last year) and a lot of people were still kind of scared to come out,” Harper said. “This year it seems like more and more want to come out. We have at least 20 new vendors and new entertainment.”

She described it as, “Kind of like a Medieval faire, but in the year 1000, when the Vikings ruled everything.”

Thanks to television series like “Vikings: The Viking Sagas” and movies like “The Northman,” interest in that era continues to increase.

“People who want to follow the old way of life are starting to get more interested in this,” she said.

Returning this year are the Ulfhedinn Vikings, a professional troupe that performs theater and choreographed fight and stunt shows.

Other entertainment acts this year include The Crossjacks, a European folk music trio from Tennessee; Two Unicorns, which performs Celtic, folk, traditional and original tunes; Damh & Dove, a drum-and bagpipes duo; and Adamo Ignis, a fire-breathing dancer.

Attendees can tour a Viking village, attend mead-making classes, take a shield painting class and test their sword skills in the Sword Master’s Challenge arena.

Children also can battle the Vikings — not with swords but with water balloons.

Harper said it’s one of her favorite events.

“It’s really hot in June and Vikings like to get cooled off.”

This year’s event is starting with a Viking feast tonight (advance tickets were required), where recipes that might have been prepared a thousand years ago will be served.

“They’ll get to eat traditional food and learn a little about it along the way,” she said.

More traditional fair food will be available during the festival because it’s difficult to find vendors who prepare such dishes, but there will be things like smoked meats that would have been common in Viking times.

Those attending are encouraged to come in costume, and Harper said that is one of the things attendees enjoy.

“I’d say it’s probably 50-50,” she said. “A lot come in costume and a lot come in regular clothes.”

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