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FAMILY | FOR THE KIDS

Scandinavian Delights

Festival to celebrate culture of Vikings and smorgasbord.

April 16, 1998|RICHARD KAHLENBERG | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This weekend, Hans Christian Andersen is coming to Thousand Oaks to entertain an audience of Scandinavian Americans. Lots of other folks from the area will be watching the show as well, because it's the second weekend of the popular Scandinavian Festival, held annually at Cal Lutheran University.

Actor Thor Nielsen will portray the famous Copenhagen master of children's storytelling in a biographical play at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Like Nielsen, many of those in the audience will be of Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, Swedish, Lithuanian, Estonian or Latvian ancestry. But families of every heritage will enjoy the event, held annually for the last 25 years.

In addition to the activities for adult members of the family--including traditional dancing and music making as well as visits to Scandinavian food and folk-art booths--there will be plenty of events for kids.

Besides the Hans Christian Andersen play, there will be parades, magic and juggling shows. Costumed Vikings will do their thousand-year-old thing in a "living history" area that will probably make TV-bred kids think that "Xena: Warrior Princess" and her tribe have invaded the campus.

There will be two such areas, one devoted to the life of the ancient seagoing Scandinavians--with combat reenactments--and another duplicating the lifestyle of the nomadic Saami tribes that originated in the wilderness north of the Arctic Circle.

A related presentation, "The Graffiti of the Vikings," which explains the mysterious rune stones left behind when they visited America centuries before Columbus, will take place Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.

There will also be a Scandinavian-themed crafts area for kids--a feature also of interest to parents who might want to find a place to park the kids while they sneak off to indulge in certain calorie-rich pastries. Food is where the Scandinavians sometimes surpass other ethnic groups in the matter of gastronomic pleasures.

At the festival there will be booths demonstrating the making of Danish pastries. And families who show up for a smorgasbord from 3-5 p.m. Sunday will find a selection of pickled herring and red cabbage dishes in addition to salads, relishes, breads, sausages, ham and, of course, meatballs.

BE THERE

Scandinavian Festival, featuring plays, music, dancing, crafts, poetry and foods Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., at Cal Lutheran University, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. Adults $5, children 10 and under, $1. Call (805) 493-3151.

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