Beards and braids

Scandinavian East Coast Museum’s Viking hair contest goes online

Beards - Braids

Photo: [left] Mike Orlov / [right] mavhome
Even in the 21st century, Viking hairstyles are still en vogue, with the popularity of series like “Game of Thrones” and “Vikings.”

Brooklyn, N.Y.

“In a time of destruction, create something. A poem. A parade. A community. A school. A vow. A moral principle. One peaceful moment.”
          – Maxine Hong Kingston 

An inspiring quote, but the 17th of May parade and Viking Fest in Brooklyn were postponed because of the coronavirus. So, what can the Scandinavian East Coast Museum do to celebrate? What can be created to substitute for the popular outdoor Viking Fest, something whimsical and fun for these unprecedented times?

The members of the museum decided to take one of their newest initiatives from the event and bring it online, our “Finest Festooned Facial Hair Contest” for the best decorated beard or moustache. And as they did not wish to exclude females, they are adding the “Finest Festooned Braids Contest.”

You are encouraged to think outside the box, à la Viking style. Take a high-resolution photo and email it by June 15 to the Scandinavian East Coast Museum at The contest is open to all ages. Why not enter as a family! 

Voting will take place June 15–30. Participant photos will be posted on the Scandinavian East Coast Museum’s Facebook page. The public can weigh in, with one vote per person for each contest. Votes must be sent to the email address above. We will announce winners and award prizes in early July. 

If all goes well and it’s safe for everyone to gather in person again, Viking Fest 2020 will be held in October 2020.

The East Coast Scandinavian Museum was founded in 1996. Their vision is to create a permanent collection in Brooklyn that documents the lives of Scandinavians who settled throughout the East Coast of the United States, and to educate the public about this group’s role in the history of Scandinavian immigration to the United States, in the communities they established throughout the East Coast, and in the history of New York.

More info:

This article originally appeared in the May 22, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

Avatar photo

Victoria Hofmo

Victoria Hofmo was born, raised, and still lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the historical heart of Norwegian New York. She is 3/4 Scandinavian: 1/2 Norwegian and 1/4 Danish/Swedish. Self-employed, she runs an out-of-school-time program that articulates learning through the arts. Hofmo is an advocate for arts and culture, education, and the preservation of the built and natural environment of her hometown, with a love for most things Scandinavian.