Proud of our close ties

Amerikafest in Karmøy, Norway, honors the strong bond between Norway and the US

From left: Mayor of Karmøy Kjell Arvid Svendsen, Ambassador Barry White, Arnold Rasmussen, Kaare Ness, and Consul Kim Nesselquist

From left: Mayor of Karmøy Kjell Arvid Svendsen, Ambassador Barry White, Arnold Rasmussen, Kaare Ness, and Consul Kim Nesselquist

A truly Norwegian-American event took place on August 5 on the Norwegian island of Karmøy. Held by the Karmøy West Rotary Club at the Blue Cross premises in Åkrehamn, the main goal of this gathering, called Amerikafest, was to provide an day of social interaction and entertainment, and to simultaneously build closer ties between Norwegians, Americans, and those who have connections to both countries.

“It is past time that we show that we are proud of the people from Karmøy who went to America and hold an event where we create an even stronger bond between them and us,” said the board of the Rotary Club in an interview with Karmøynytt.

There was a full house with 260 people from the USA and Norway. 40 people came from Sons of Norway Haugaland lodge. Also present at the event were the USA’s ambassador in Norway, Barry B. White, and Norway’s consul in Seattle, Wash., Kim Nesselquist. Ambassador White and Consul Nesselquist visited the Mayor and the Fisherman’s Memorial during their visit to Karmøy, forging an important cultural connection.

“The people from Karmøy who left for America are proud of their origins, and we think it is time that we show that we appreciate everyone who has a relation to the USA,” said the board of the Rotary Club.

Amerikafest is not part of Fiskeridagene (“Fishing Days,” an annual festival held in Karmøy) but it is held in consultation with the festival organizers. The traditional Fiskeridagene calls many Karmøy-Americans “home” to partake in the festival, which inspired the Rotary to add Amerikafest as the first event of its kind on August 5.

“I expect that many will appreciate that such a party is being held,” said President of the Karmøy Club in Seattle, Tor Tollesen, to Karmøynytt. Recently, Tollesen was home on Karmøy and took part in the planning of Amerikafest.

“I am sure that many who come from America to visit Karmøy this summer will attend the event. But it is important to emphasize that this is an event fro anyone who has a relationship to America,” he said.

Lasse Pedersen guided guests through the evening, and Voice of Joy Synnøve Aanensen, Solfrid Brekkå and Hans Petter Tangen provided musical entertainment.

This article was originally published in the Aug. 23, 2011 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email subscribe@norway.com.

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