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MORE ODIN FUN: 5th Annual Viking Festival brings thunder to Heavener’s Runestone Park

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HEAVENER, Okla. – One of our favorite unsolved mysteries here at the Red Dirt Report offices is that of the Heavener Runestones. While the origin of the these stones is still unknown, many people believe that they are proof that Europeans crossed over into the Americas earlier than suspected, with the runes being dated to as far back as 600 A.D.

Regardless of what your take on the stones are, the folks at Heavener Runestone Park are betting it all on the Viking settlers and celebrating this assumption with the 5th Annual Heavener Runestone Viking Festival, a twice-a-year Viking party (a spring celebration is also held in April) that has been building in popularity since 2011, according to park manager Erin Bruesch.

“It’s been growing more and more…it’s been growing a lot,” Bruesch said. “This is only the third festival that I have coordinated, but last April we were pushing about 3000 people. It was pretty impressive. But as for this October, I have a feeling that maybe it’s not going to be quite that big but it’ll still be a big turnout. People are definitely intrigued about the runestones, but also the costumes and activities.”

The weekend-long festival helps support the Heavener Runestone Park and Norse-buffs are invited to come out and enjoy period-friendly Celtic and folk music, food, swordplay, Viking goods and, of course, the man detailed and intricate costumes. There will also be plenty of camping on the grounds and hiking to view the stones.

“We have some games from the Viking Age that the kids can play and that’s always fun,” Bruesch said. “As far as costumes go, a lot of people dress up, many in very authentic outfits—the first time I went to the festival, I had no idea what to expect, so I didn’t dress up—but what I really liked about it is that it wasn’t intimidating, there was definitely something for everybody to partake in and fun with.”

The 5th Annual Heavener Runestone Viking Festival is October 8-9 at the Heavener Runestone Park, 18365 Runestone Rd., with events starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are $5 for persons age 12 and older and camping is $10 per tent, per night.

“This is the only runestone park in the United States,” Bruesch said. “This is the only location where a park has been dedicated to them, so not only can you enjoy the Viking Festival, but you can hike, camp, see the runestones and learn a lot about Viking history. There’s something for all ages to learn and enjoy while exploring Viking history.”

For more info on the Heavener Runestone Park:

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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