The Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association held its annual Frosty Fest last weekend downtown, and the event featured activities for all ages, including games, contests, a torchlit procession and even special ferry service.
What is now Frosty Fest began as Winter Rendezvous in 2014, under the leadership of the legendary hydroplane race Chip Hanauer and was intended to be a boating destination during the winter lull, and an economic boost for Poulsbo.
Like many things, however, it fell victim to the government shutdowns during the COVID pandemic and so, by 2021, the event ended, as explained by Viking members Susan Cole and Karen Zabinski. In the calendar space vacated by the rendezvous, the association invented Frosty Fest.
Given that the NFL’s Super Bowl took place Sunday, Saturday was the biggest day for Frosty Fest. The Ferry Carlisle operated on a regular schedule to-and-from Bremerton facilitating visitors in reaching Poulsbo quickly, without bringing their own wheels. Downtown businesses hosted scavenger hunt stations, Nordic Games and a Poker Run. The Sons of Norway’s Vikings (an auxiliary) provided the majority of the labor for the event.
Visitors ranged from locals to tourists. Pacific Northwest residents from farther away like Derek Morrison of Tahuya and his girlfriend Jen Evergreen of Centralia were at the Sons of Norway’s Troll’s Den Bar, attempting to conquer a Jenga tower.
The highlight Saturday was a winter “Valisblot Bonfire,” also orchestrated by the Vikings, that began with a group torch lighting at the Son’s of Norway’s parking lot. After getting fully ablaze, the bloodthirsty raiders, howled down the main drag, onto the boardwalk, and then over to the shoreside bonfire pit to set the evening alight.