“The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba “Islendingadagurinn” as far as we have been able to determine, is the second oldest continuous ethnic festival in North America. Only an Irish festival held annually in Montreal is a few years older. The first Icelandic festival in North America was held in Milwaukee in 1874. The first Icelandic festival in Manitoba was held in Winnipeg in 1890; was held there annually until 1931, and since 1932 has been held in Gimli.
August 2nd was chosen for the festival date because on that day, in 1874, the first Icelandic Celebration in North America had taken place, and, in Iceland, a new constitution had been accepted. Early August was also convenient for farmers, as seeding was over, but harvest had not yet begun.”