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Run Leif to Leif, meet Vikings and join in a Pickled Herring Taste-off at Tastes of Norway/Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day in Ballard on Saturday.

Start the day Norwegian flag in hand, provided at the starting line of the Leif to Leif run/walk. The event goes from the Leif Erikson bust at the Leif Erikson Lodge festival site to the Leif Erikson statue at Port of Seattle/Shilshole Bay.

Accordions will be on hand, of course, during all-day entertainment that features a Bunad parade of folk costumes representing regions of Norway at 1 p.m., the Norwegian Male Chorus celebrating 125 years of song at 11 a.m., TinnFelen Hardanger Fiddle Ensemble and more.

Artists demonstrate traditional crafts including knitting, rug-tying, embroidery, woodcarving and rosemaling, a traditional elaborate painting style popular in Norway since the 1700s. Have some smørbrød (open face sandwiches), erte suppe (pea soup) and rømmegrøt (cream porridge) and save room for kransekake, krumkake, vaffler and lefse for dessert, along with demonstrations on how they’re made.

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There will be vendors, raffles, crafts and games for kids all day, genealogy researchers to help you learn about your Norwegian ancestors, and many Norwegian organizations including festival hosts Sons of Norway and Vikings from the Kingdom of AnTir describing details of life in their heyday from the years 800 to the 1100s.

Sunday, entertainment, activities and food from French-speaking cultures around the world star at French Fest, hosted by France Education Northwest at Seattle Center Armory.

Performances include Tahitian dance, Louisiana Cajun music, French Canadian tunes, North African music, gypsy jazz and traditional French songs. Several local French organizations host kids’ activities and seminars on French-speaking cultures around the world and hold traditional dictées (French spelling bees) hosted by local language schools.

Vote for your favorite bakery in the Best Baguette Competition, see chef demos and stop by the international bistro for a Louisiana fried oyster po’boy, sandwich Parisien, moules frites (sautéed mussels with fries) and other French treats.

Both these events are free and all ages are welcome.

Madeline McKenzie:

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