Norseman Festival Planning Underway

By Jennifer Thurbide

The rumble of numerous Norseman engines returns to Howey Bay as Red Lake’s “signature summer gathering” will be making a comeback for 2012. This was the message coming from the Norseman Festival Committee last week as the group issued a statement on the event’s status. Noting that new members had been recruited and that a plan is in the works to bring the July celebration to life this upcoming summer the release advised: “Plans to put on a different Norseman Festival this July are well underway, driven by the organizing committee’s decision last year to tie the size…to greater or lesser community support and participation.”

Speaking to the Northern Sun News last Friday afternoon committee representative Ron Robinson confirmed the group is looking forward to July 2012.

“The key message is that there is going to be a Norseman Festival this year and that we are going to be ultimately deciding the size based on whether we can get more assistance from the community.” Robinson continued “We are going to try to give [volunteers] an idea on what they are getting involved in [so as] not to stick their neck out and say ‘yeah I am going to volunteer’ and not know how deep they are going to be in.”

As to what other activities will be featured the planner says information will be forthcoming over the next few weeks although Robinson confirms discussions have been had with the organizers of the Dragon Boat Races and the Belly Flop contest to be included in the weekend events as well as coordination with the Red Lake District High School Reunion is also underway.

Last June the Norseman Festival was cancelled for 2011 with organizers citing volunteer engagement as an ongoing challenge.

For 2012 community groups and individuals are being encouraged to consider activities aimed at youth or adults to complement the core activities that will be proceeded with. “[the committee] has put together a list of likely and possible activities made up of both new and old events. Organizers say that there is also room for other events if they fit and if they come with a commitment to organize and present them,” read the committee’s statement which stated a variety of engagement levels are being offered from sponsorship to direct involvement. “Direct involvement could range from coordinating several events to organizing a single event, or to helping someone else with one activity or service that is provided during the Festival.”

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