Festival highlights the life of the Vikings | News, Sports, Jobs


BAZETTA — The Ohio Viking Festival, which wraps up today at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, offers an opportunity to watch and participate in sword fights and learn about how the Vikings of yore lived over 1,000 years ago.

The movies and TV shows caught the interest of late 8th to early 11th century Scandinavian seafarers who were traders, explorers and warriors, according to the livescience.com website. On Friday, the festival entered its seventh year.

Vendors in the commercial building were selling Viking-related items, and there were plenty of food vendors. Saturday’s entertainment came from a fire dancer and battle re-enactors using steel weapons.

But even the practice that takes place in the grassy areas halfway through gave a glimpse of the Viking way of life.

Nicholas Ruszkowski of Utica, NY, could be seen re-enacting battles during a show on Saturday. But later that day he also got into fights with other re-enactors, still using metal weapons.

Safety is important, so re-enactors receive special training so they know which areas of the body to avoid with weapons, he said. When Ruszkowski and others trained, they used swords and a shield, but trained at a slow pace, just practicing in their movements.

Ruszkowski said the linen or woolen clothing re-enactors wear is similar to clothing worn by real Vikings hundreds of years ago and more realistic than the clothing seen on some of the TV shows that have heightened awareness. interest in the Vikings in recent years.

Among the shows are “Vikings” which premiered in 2013 and ended in 2020. A sequel series titled “Viking Valhalla” premiering on Netflix in February 2022.

Ruszkowski said the real Vikings didn’t wear the “fancy belts” represented on the shows. “You would have to be a millionaire to own them” back in the Viking Age, he says.

“It’s a more historically accurate representation of what they wore at the time,” he said.

For those who would like to try Viking-style fighting, James Seeley of Deerfield Beach, Florida offered the Sword Masters Challenge, featuring duels and sword fights with foam weapons. Seeley and two customers fought through three realistic battles without risking serious injury.

All three battles lasted about 10 or 15 minutes.

A fire dancer accompanied by a musician drew a large crowd on Saturday afternoon. And Ana Pocaigue from Island Girl Hides of Moss, Tennessee, demonstrated hide tanning.

If you are going to …

WHAT: Ohio Viking Festival

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today

WHERE: Trumbull County Fairgrounds, 899 Everett Hull Road, Bazetta

HOW MUCH: $12 adults and $6 children ages 6-12, a family day pass (two adults and two children) for $32. For more information, visit ohiovikingfestival.com.



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