Icelandic Festival of Manitoba, Aug 5 2013


The McMahon Mile Road Race, Gimli Manitoba

McMahon Mile Run

The McMahon Mile Road race course begins on the parade route just preceding the Parade.
Begins at the corner of Centre Street and Highway #9, running east down Centre Street to First Avenue, then north on First Avenue to Amisk Drive, then west on Amisk Drive to finish just past Third Avenue.


A huge crowd for the Icelandic Festival Parade, Gimli


The Icelandic Festival Parade, Gimli Manitoba

Parade  10 AM

The parade travels from the Rec Centre on Highway 9, south to Centre street, down Center Street to First Avenue,  around the loop by Betel and down First Avenue to Amisk Drive finishing at Gimli Park.
Please contact the Icelandic Festival Parade Chairperson with any questions See Locations Map for Parade Route.Remember: NO PARKING ON PARADE ROUTE MONDAY MORNING – VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED!

Parade Rules:

The Icelandic Festival’s Annual Parade is the largest parade in rural Manitoba. It attracts thousands of people every year for this grand event.

The parade is open to all entries and is free of charge. Entries fall under the following categories: Commercial, Club, Organization or Team, Children’s/Family, Special Groups, Cultural Entry

Judging: Entries will be judged based on overall message, décor, design, signage, originality, authenticity, cultural relevance and crowd appeal.

Awards: Best Cultural Entry- 1st place $50.00

               Best Youth/Family Entry- 1st place $50.00

               Commercial: 1st place- $50.00   2nd place $25.00

               Club/Organization- 1st place $50.00

               Judge’s Award/Best Overall Entry- $50.00

Rules and Regulations:

– All entries are subject to the Parade Marshall and other deputies and can be withdrawn at any time

– All entries are required to register at a major checkpoint AS A GROUP at the Gimli Rec. Centre parking lot (just West of Hwy 9) between 8:30-9:30 am. Please be on time – late entries may not be allowed in the parade

– No giveaways or throw aways on the parade route unless preapproved. Items must be handed out at the curb if approved. Throwing items is prohibited for the safety of spectators.

– All entries must be decorated

– All political or religious entries must be pre-approved by the Icelandic Festival Board of Directors through a written letter of request.

– All marching members should complete the entire parade

– Horse units must be ridden by qualified riders and supply their own cleanup crew for the parade route and marshalling area.




Khartum Winnipeg


The Tergesen General Store, Gimli Manitoba



Vikings in the Parade


2013 Fjallkona, Maxine Stefania Helgason-Ingalls


Consulate of Iceland in Winnipeg; Hjálmar Hannesson, Ambassador


“Hjálmar W. Hannesson was appointed as ambassador to the United States in January 6, 2009.

He graduated from the Icelandic Teachers College in 1966 and moved to the US to earn a BA in Political Science at the University of North Carolina in 1968. In 1969 he received a Masters in Political Science, also at the University of North Carolina.
In 1969, Hannesson returned to Iceland and taught at the Icelandic Teachers College, the Reykjavik College, and the University of Iceland until 1976. He then became the First Secretary at Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs while also filling a position on the UN General Assembly. From 1977 to 1980 he served as the First Secretary for the Delegation to NATO/Embassy, Brussels. He went on to become the First Secretary, and later Counselor for the Icelandic Embassy in Stockholm from 1980 to 1984.
Hannesson served as counselor and subsequently Minster Counselor for Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1984 to 1988. In 1988 he was appointed Ambassador for CSCE-matters, Disarmament and Arms Control at the Ministry of Affairs.
From 1989 to 1995 Hannesson served as Ambassador to Germany and simultaneously to Switzerland, Austria, and Greece. During the same time period, he was Ambassador to Hungary (1990) and to Liechtenstein (1992). Then in 1995 he was appointed Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, the first Icelandic Ambassador to reside in Beijing. He also served simultaneously as Ambassador to Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and North Korea from 1995 to 1998.
From 1998 to 2001 he served as Ambassador and Political Director for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Deputy Permanent Secretary of State. Afterwards, he became Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican City) from 1999 to 2002. From 2001 to 2003 he was the Ambassador to Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama.
Then from 2003 to 2009 Hannesson served as the Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations, while also holding the position of Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Jamaica, and Guyana. While serving as Ambassador, he also was the Vice President of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly 2006 and 2007 Vice President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Hannesson speaks English, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and German. He has been married to Anna Birgisdottir since 1966 and has two sons, one daughter, and 14 grandchildren.”
Icelandic and Canadian Flags


The Vikings went through the parade route, terrorizing the locals.



Gimli is invaded by Vikings!



Shriners on tiny bikes, vintage cars and trikes.





The Icelandic Festival Parade in Gimli.





Wonder Shows’ big Ferris Wheel



Icelandic Festival souvenirs and gifts




Golko’s Hardware in Gimli, Manitoba


Gimli Harbour





Gimli Artesian Well Water






Viking jewelry and beads


Leif Norman in a Viking Knit , Nalbinded Hat

From Wikipedia:

“Nålebinding (Danish: literally “binding with a needle” or “needle-binding”, also naalbindingnålbinding or naalebinding) is a fabric creation technique predating bothknitting and crochet. Also known in English as “knotless netting,” “knotless knitting,” [1] or “single needle knitting,” the technique is distinct from crochet in that it involves passing the full length of the working thread through each loop, unlike crochet where the work is formed only of loops, never involving the free end. It also differs from knitting in that lengths must be pieced together during the process of nålebinding, rather than a continuous strand of yarn that can easily be pulled out. Archaeological specimens of fabric made by nålebinding can be difficult to distinguish from knitted fabric.

Nålebinding is still practiced by women of the Nanti tribe, an indigenous people of the Camisea region of Peru. They use it to make bracelets. Nålebinding also remains popular in the Scandinavian countries as well as in the Balkans.”

Viking Spices used in cooking




Viking age hats and footwear



Wooden Viking age bowls


A viking age helmet



Gimli Public School, 1915


The Gimli Apartments



Anna Stevens of Gimli Manitoba knits toques and mitts from Icelandic Wool. “Pretty good for someone who is 92!” she told me.



Icelandic Flag



Johann Straumfjord Sigurdson

From the Fara Heim website: 

“Sailing across the waters of the North Atlantic the Norse first voyaged to North America over 1000 years ago. Known as the “Vikings” these early explorers are well documented in the Sagas to have settled Greenland and then explored to the West. Tales of their voyages to mainland North America are also recorded in the Sagas but the detail and extent of their explorations have been mostly lost in time. In the mid-1800s descendants of those original Vikings began emigrating to North America. They followed a sea route to their new homeland that was once well known to their forefathers. These modern day Vikings voyaged to Canada and the U.S. and have since created significant settlements deep in the heart of North America.

For a millennium the flow of historical and genealogical information has been mostly from east to west…with less going the other way. Now, over the last several decades, a hint of ancient voyages to the North Arctic and even to the heart of the continent have been discovered. These whispers from the past and the personal connections to those original voyagers are the motivations for a team of explorers to search for Norse presence in North America while taking a personal voyage into their own history.

Their journey will be to “Fara Heim”. In Old Norse, “að fara heim” means “going home”. The Fara Heim team will voyage from Manitoba, Canada by sail through across Hudson Bay, through the Arctic and then end with a return to the lands of the original explorers.

Using modern search technologies the team will visit likely sites to search for and record the findings of signs of Norse presence. These sites are being selected using historical data, verbal history, community knowledge and analysis of modern data. The search objective is data collection with a defined search protocol being used to protect all visited sites and artifacts from damage and permanent loss. The data package will be analyzed for evidence of Norse presence with positive results leading to formal archaeological digs.”

The Fara Heim Expeditionary Crew


Mackenzie Collette and Linda Sigurdson Collette


Gimli Kiwanis Food Services



Dignitaries at the Traditional Program, Manitoba Icelandic Festival






Everyone stands for the singing of the Icelandic National Anthem










Gimli Dance Pavilion, 1911



Vintage Photographs of Gimli and the area



Inside the Gimli Dance Pavilion



Ambassador Hjálmar Hannesson








Dragonfly munching on a Lake Winnipeg Fish Fly



A typical Gimli House





The Fara Heim Expedition Boat




The Fara Heim crew will soon head off to try and find ships that were sunk in the French English “Battle of Hudson Bay” over 300 years ago.

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