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 Taste of Norway

Iola, WI

Taste of Norway Taste of Norway and Lost Arts Far

10:00am – 3:00pm

Iola Historical Society

TASTE OF NORWAY along with IOLA-SCANDINAVIA FALL CRAFT & GIFT FAIR – will held on at the Iola Historical Society Complex. 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Watch Norwegian pastry making, lefse making, and Lost Arts artisans ply their crafts at the 2023 Taste Of Norway & Lost Arts Fair to be held Saturday, October 7.

The event is free, with the Taste of Norway & Lost Arts demonstrations running from10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event takes place at the society’s Historic Iola Village complex at 210 Depot Street, just west of downtown Iola. There will also be a craft show and fire extinguisher check during the event.

Proceeds from the event are being used to pay for the restoration of the historic Iola & Northern Railroad depot, built in 1894, along with other Iola Historical Society needs.

Established in 2010, Taste of Norway celebrates the Iola area’s Norwegian influence. The event provides visitors with tastes of Norwegian pastries. Historical society members and local residents experienced in preparing Norwegian goodies, ranging from lefse, smultrenger (fry cakes), krumkaka, sandbakkels, rosettes, and fattigman, will explain and demonstrate how to make them. The demonstrations run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The pastries and other homemade baked goods will be available for purchase in dozen and half-dozen increments, while supplies last..

Iola’s famous Crystal Café will also be selling pies by the slice, applet turnovers, chili and cheeseburger soup, among other items. Iola’s The Lefse Shack will be offering fresh lefse for sale.

Taste Of Norway raffle tickets are being sold locally by Iola Historical Society members and will also be available on site the day of the event. The price per raffle ticket is $3, or two tickets for $5. Prizes include a Wisconsin Badgers football autographed by Badgers coach Paul Chryst, a $200 cash second prize, and more than 30 other prizes donated by area businesses and organizations. The drawing will take place at 1:45 p.m. Winners need not be present to win.

Lost Arts Fair

The popular Lost Arts Fair aspect of the event brings artisans to the Village showing how things used to be done. Lost arts ranging from blacksmithing, jewelry making , rosemaling, rug weaving, and woodcarving, among others, will be demonstrated. Some of the artisans have items for sale. Craft vendors will also be on hand selling a variety of handmade items. Artisans interested in participating should contact Lee Halverson at 715-677-4918. Craft vendors should contact Bonnie Pethke at 715-445-5851 or

Children’s activities and Scandinavian music

Troll’s Workshop will provide projects and fun for children, located in the replica one-room schoolhouse on the grounds. Desiah Melby will be playing Scandinavian tunes on her fiddle from Noon to 1:00 p.m., using a vintage flatcar by the Iola Depot as her stage.

Fire extinguisher check

The Iola & Rural Fire Department will be holding its annual fire extinguisher check at the 1901 vintage Iola fire station at the Iola Historic Village. The department has arranged with licensed fire systems supplier Fire Pro to provide, at a nominal charge of $5 per unit, on-site fire extinguisher checks from 9 a.m. to Noon.  Department personnel will check and service personal handheld fire extinguishers to be sure they are current for use andinsurance purposes. The replica station contains Iola’s first three pieces of mechanized firefighting apparatus, dating from 1913, 1926, and 1942.

Tours of on-site historic buildings

Iola Historical Society docents will provide information on the historic buildings on the grounds, which include the Helvetia Town Hall; a replica of Iola’s first fire station; replica of a one-room schoolhouse; a circa-1920s log cabin, originally used locally by hunters; the original Iola & Northern Railway depot and a vintage caboose. All buildings will be open for tours.

The society’s museum will also be open during the event. The displays include the recently completed Wayne Towne Native American artifacts exhibit, one of the most extensive such displays in the Midwest; vintage Norwegian immigrant items; the Stromberg violin collection, and many other items of local history.

Also featured is a display dedicated to Lee Nelson, Iola’s “Humble Hero.” Nelson was a B-17 bomber pilot who flew several dozen missions over France and Germany in World War II. His autobiography, published by the Iola Historical Society, is available for sale at the event, along with other local history books.

There is also a developing exhibit for Chester L. Krause, world-renowned publisher and philanthropist, who passed away in 2016.

Members of the Central Wisconsin Tractor Club will have classic tractors on display.

Visitors can also take a nice Fall walk along the nearby Iola Lions River Walk that follows the Little Wolf River from North Main Street to Townline Road. The Walk is accessible at its mid-point behind the Machine Shed. The historic three-story Iola Mills, built in 1860, is located at the east end of the trail.

For more information on the event, go to www.iolahistoricalsociety,, or visit Iola-Scandinavia Chamber on Facebook., or visit Iola-Scandinavia Chamber on Facebook.

This day coincides with the Hidden Studio Art Tour in Waupaca and Portage Counties.