If you are seeking a fun, family outing that is also educational, plan a visit to the 13th annual Viking Festival in Ashville, Ohio on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1.
Located 30 miles south of Columbus (approximately 2.5 hours from Cleveland), this free, living history festival celebrates the Vikings of the 10th century and the positive influence their culture had on trade, storytelling, systems of justice and the role of women in their society. More than 4000 people are expected to attend.
Featured at the Festival will be a living history area where Viking re-enactors from various historical groups will be encamped showing elements of the life of Vikings. For educational purposes, there will also be re-enactors from other time periods to enjoy.
Free entertainment on three stages will be offered during the Festival including music (folk, Celtic, sea shanties and Scandinavian), storytelling, dance, juggling and magic shows. Be sure not to miss the jousts with battling knights in full regalia. And be sure to check out the shield wall demonstration and a Pike College where visitors can learn about the art of attack using a long thrusting spear.
The Viking Festival is currently in the process of building a 40 foot ship stage that will be as historically accurate as possible. While it is still not completed, visitors will be able to make a contribution to the ship by making ropes that will be used in the completion.
The Festival will feature two food venues, Thor’s Feast Hall and Heimdall’s Horn of Plenty. At Thor’s Feast Hall you can purchase items like turkey legs, pork tenderloin, potato soup in a bread bowl, chicken tenders, wedge fries and for breakfast, scrambled eggs, ham, hash browns and French toast.
The Viking Fest will also have more than 50 vendors on hand who will have handmade merchandise for purchase including items like wooden ware, woven textiles, jewelry, blacksmith items, leather goods and authentic chain mail.
The Ashville Viking Festival hours are 10 a.m. -7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free but a canned food item donation for the Asheville Food Pantry is requested. Parking is free. Period dress is encouraged but not required for the Festival.
If you would like to celebrate early, there is a Welcome Feast from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, April 29 at the shelter house that includes an all-you-can-eat pork chop dinner with sides and drinks. Cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
For those wishing to make a weekend of it, check out the Sleep Inn in nearby Obetz, Ohio. Call 614-497-9600 for pricing, availability or to make reservations. Sleep Inn is located at 4850 Frusta Dr. in Obetz. Also check out the Baymont Inn & Suites located at 2323 Port Rd. in Columbus. Call 614-491-4400 for more details or to make reservations.
For more information about the Ashville Viking Festival, call 740-983-9390 or get online at www.ashvillevikingfest.com. The Ashville Village Park (location of the Festival) is located at 200 Walnut Street in Ashville, Ohio. It is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Cleveland.