Vesterheim to hold a barneløp ski/walk

Winter fun for kids

Vesterheim barneløp

Photo courtesy of Vesterheim
Kids and families enjoy the outdoors at Vesterheim’s barneløp ski/walk.

Decorah, Iowa

Get outside and enjoy the winter at barneløpet, a non-competitive ski or walk event for the community’s youngest skiers, ages 3 to 13. The collaborative Vesterheim Museum and Sons of Norway event will be held at the Decorah Community Prairie on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Skiers must provide their own skis.

Barneløpet is open to children of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family. “When you complete the course, you’ll be awarded a medal and served hot chocolate and homemade cookies as you warm yourself by the fire,” Darlene Fossum-Martin, event organizer, said.

Barneløpet is free, thanks to the sponsorship of Jon and Mary Hart of Decorah in memory of Kjell Arne Berntsen and three Sons of Norway Lodges—Valdres #503 in Decorah, Iowa; Heimbygda #376 in Lanesboro, Minn.; and Valheim #364 in Spring Grove, Minn.

No snow or skis? “Then join in the fun with a walk through the tall prairie grasses,” Fossum-Martin encouraged. If in doubt about weather conditions, listen to local radio stations for cancellations.

Barneløpet, (pronounced BAR-nuh-lop-it) is Norwegian for “the kids race” and Sons of Norway lodges all over the country sponsor barneløp events. It is modeled after the barne­birke, a children’s cross-county ski race held each year as a part of the world-famous American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wis.

Barneløpet in Decorah has been held annually for 18 years to encourage kids and families to enjoy the winter snow season.

The Decorah Community Prairie is accessed by car at the south end of Ohio Street, near Aase Haugen Homes. The trail will be in a loop, with the start and finish at the site of the butterfly garden.

For more information about barneløpet, contact Vesterheim at (563) 382-9681.

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 26, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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