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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeCommunityTwo Harbors Heritage Days 24th Annual Lutefisk Toss Challenge

Two Harbors Heritage Days 24th Annual Lutefisk Toss Challenge

I asked someone where the “Heritage Day Stage” might be as I pulled into a parking lot in downtown Two Harbors on Friday. I was pointed in the gener­al direction and, as I got closer, I could smell I was on the right trail. I had to squeeze and duck into the crowd to get a good view.

According to Linda Schuler, one of the orga­nizers of the event (and a Swede), “The crowd gets bigger and bigger every year. It’s a lot of fun.”

Everyone was certainly enjoying the afternoon’s event. The challenge had very entertaining com­mentators from KTWH 99.5 FM who made the participants take an oath, promising to throw the fish with “the utmost respect” as long as they didn’t have to eat it.

Competitors, some clad in Vikings garb (not the football team), took turns tossing a chunk of frozen lutefisk into a five-gallon bucket placed twenty feet away. There were cheers and friendly jeers and plenty of laugh­ing, especially when a waywardly thrown lutefisk landed near the crowd.

Thank goodness the fish was frozen. Last time I saw lutefisk I thought it was Fish Jell-O. Can you imagine throwing that? In the heat, however, it was clear that it was beginning to thaw. The competitors wisely wore gloves. “No one wants to shake my hand,” I heard a participant laugh.

The game is simple even though it is stinky. There are two teams, the Norskies and the Swedes, that play against each other for brag­ging rights and for ownership of the traveling trophy to display in their lodges until the next year when they will need to defend their title. Each team has six throwers, and each has three throws a round to attempt to get the fish in the bucket. Three rounds are played.

In between rounds, the Two Harbors Ukelele Group (THUG) played some pretty funny songs, one of which was about a little bit of lutefisk going a long way. Request it next time you see them play.

The traveling trophy proudly lists the winners for each year, minus a year where weather ruined the fun and also during covid. The running score going into the weekend was 13- 10, with the Swedes in the lead. There was a lot of pressure in the final round and the Norskies were just not able to overcome the Swedes, who took the game by one point.

Better luck next time, Norskies! I’m not sure how long lutefisk is in season or even if it has a season, but it wouldn’t hurt to get some practice in before next year’s challenge. As a fellow Norwegian, I’m counting on you!

Feel Free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!

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