Rooster and I attended the Viking Fest in an Indiana cornfield. We watched battles, visited vendors selling odd merchandise, and listened to heavy-metal Viking music, It made us wonder who are these people. #Viking #festival #Indiana#Zionsville #Big Ben’s
The Viking Fest
Rooster and I have committed to living a life of adventure. We were born with gypsy souls. Our hitch-hiking hippie days didn’t cure our wanderlust. Every other weekend we take to the road in search of something unique, mysterious, and fun. (One of us still works every other weekend. We’re too young to retire but old enough to get the senior discount at most places.) We never know what will capture our interest. It might be a piece of art, a live musical performance, or a restaurant serving a unique dish we’ve never tried before. This weekend our destination of choice was the Whitestown Viking Fest.
Later start on Viking Festival morning
We are early risers on a typical workday, but we didn’t climb out of bed until 7:30 on Viking Fest morning. (Our late start might have been due to staying up until one a.m. binge-watching the last season of Game of Thrones.) This meant we’d leave the house in time to join every breakfast seeker in town lined up at the door of every local restaurant.
We decided to make Zionsville, Indiana our breakfast destination. We’d heard rumors they had charming eating establishments tucked away in the quaint downtown section of the small city. Rooster brewed himself a cup of tea and put a pot of coffee on for me. He is our morning beverage maker.
On a workday, he rolls out of bed at 4:00 a.m. while I linger under the covers until 4:30. He’s a considerate husband who likes to make me happy. We climbed into the Sunshine Mobile and pointed it toward a Viking adventure.
By the time we reached downtown Zionsville, I had a problem. I was in desperate need of a bathroom. The coffee played havoc with my kidneys. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single gas station in our drive to town. Rooster drove up and down the red brick streets in search of a spot for me to pee.
About the time I thought all hope was lost, he pulled into the parking lot of a local fast food place. I ran in and did my business while he performed a search on his phone for local restaurants. He had Rosie’s Place programmed into the GPS setting on his phone by the time I climbed into the passenger seat.
Once we arrived at 10 S. Main Street, we discovered we had another problem. There wasn’t a parking space to be found. We went on a ten-minute tour of Zionsville’s cozy downtown before Rooster backed our Chevy Spark into a tight parking space two blocks from the restaurant.
The minute we stepped through the door of the eatery; we knew it was worth making the walk down Main Street to arrive at our desired destination. The breakfast crowd started to thin out, so we didn’t have to wait to be seated.
A waitress handed us a menu. The prices appeared to be reasonable. The food on the plates of the diners sitting at the table next to us looked delicious. When the waitress returned to our table to take our orders, Rooster pointed to the lady’s plate and said, “What is she having. It looks good.”
That’s when the server handed us the special list. Rooster selected the sausage and gravy omelet, and I had the Tex-Mex. My meal was made up of two poached eggs riding on top of a cornmeal paddy with a cheese sauce drizzled on top to give it a sweet flavor. Rooster had a delicious omelet with a mound of gravy floating on top. He made the statement Rosie’s was one of those places you’d be sorry you missed if you didn’t stop in for a bite to eat.
He was enjoying the experience until he got the check. We were both surprised the specials were each five dollars more than the items listed on the menu. The typical assumption is that the breakfast special would come at a bargain price. (We all know from experience Rooster is cheap, cheap, cheap.) He said he’d go back, but he’d stay away from the specials.
Whitestown Parks and Recreation
We pointed the Sunshine Mobile toward Anson Park in the city of Whitestown searching for Viking Fest. The event is thrown by Noble Order Brewing & Wine in combination with Whitestown Parks and Recreation. (Many city governments in Indiana do have a department called Parks and Recreation. The television show didn’t exaggerate the comic aspect some of these departments lend to small-town city government. It’s almost as if their motto is, “We must protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen.”)
Zionsville bled into Whitestown as we drove through the countryside. Cornfields were rapidly being invaded by the urban sprawl from Indianapolis. Chain stores, roundabouts, and McMansions with enough room for three families to live comfortably occupy the landscape.
It made me wonder where the next generation of farmers was going to find land to grow the food we eat. I did spot an exciting barn quilt hanging on one of the old structures which stuck out like an elephant in a parade. It was painted in the Carpenter’s Wheel pattern. I’ve made two quilts using this design. It’s one of my favorites.
Arriving at Viking Fest
We rounded a corner and could tell by the line of cars along the roadside we were in the right place. Rooster squeezed the Sunshine Mobile into a tight parking space. We strolled to the table where they collected the entrance fee for the event. We paid five dollars each for the right of safe passage into the world of Vikings.
My first impression of Viking Fest
The first oddity I noticed after we walked through the gate was the number of folks strolling the 15-acre park dressed as they time traveled from the middle-ages. The smell of turkey legs roasting over a barbeque fire mingled with the scent of the new buds of spring. Heavy metal music with a Celtic flare blasted from speakers and set the tone for a battle taking place in a roped-off area to the left of the stage which looked like a Viking ship ready to set sail on the high sea.
Space was reserved where children could learn how to fight with swords. A rock-climbing wall erected in the middle of the field allowed a person could test their skill at scaling castle walls for a small fee. It appears Vikings will do battle with an ax, a sword, or a bow and arrow over the slightest provocation. The mud in the park gave the festival the realistic impression of a mid-evil village. Whitestown’s Parks and Recreation did a valiant job of laying down woodchips, but the rain from the previous week made it impossible to eliminate all the mud in such a large area.
We ambled across the open field to watch the battle taking place next to the Viking ship stage. The combatants fought one another with intensity. It appeared someone might get hurt. Rooster found a bench where he could perch and watch the action from a safe distance, or at least that was his excuse.
Vendors selling Viking stuff
I decided to wander among the merchant tents and wondered at the amount of Viking paraphilia being sold at the event. Pottery, mid-evil dresses, vests, robes, metal bowl helmets, horned helmets, and jewelry could be bought at a reasonable price. You could purchase enough mid-evil gear to look like you’d stepped out of an episode of Game of Thrones.
Vikings know how to put on a show
Anyhow, the performance by a traveling troupe of troubadours who arrived at the village to perform a mid-evil period reenactment became the highlight of the Festival for me. They played a few songs and created Viking fight scenes for the audience’s entertainment. The show was so exciting
Rooster stopped his people-watching and came over to observe the antics. I enjoyed the ancient myth of how Thor lost his hammer. Loki took the blame for the missing hammer, And so, he searched for the hammer to redeem himself. He discovered a giant had stolen Thor’s favorite weapon. Loki comes up with an elaborate plan in which Thor dresses up as a beautiful goddess and agrees to marry the giant.
Giants proved to not be picky when it comes to the women they find attractive. At the wedding day feast, Thor reveals himself and takes back his hammer. This results in a chaotic free for all battle.
Meandering through Anson Park
When the show finished, we meandered around Anson Park. Our hope was a band of traveling minstrels would start playing music up on the Viking ship stage. From where we stood, we saw instruments minus the musicians.
We knew we were out of luck when a gang of marauders marched across the muddy field toward the roped-off combat area. A person could only watch so much armed combat in one day. It was time for us to say good-bye to Viking Fest and head for the nearest coffee shop.
Coffee shop denied
The Zionsville/Whitestown area might be fast-growing and trendy, but we couldn’t find a unique coffee house open after three. Rooster and I decided to head north to Kokomo. We heard rumors Big Ben Coffee Company was new construction. There was a possibility of private rooms where a person could set up a computer and do a little writing. Hence, when we arrived at 1230 West Jefferson Street, we discovered the rumors true.
Found Big Ben’s
The layout of Big Ben’s would be the perfect place for a writer’s group to meet if one decided to exist in the Kokomo area. We moved into the room with the barn doors, sat up our laptops, ordered a cup of coffee, and spent two enjoyable hours writing. Rooster and I both liked the atmosphere at Big Ben’s. As far as the perfect coffee shop, Kokomo has two options where a person can spend an enjoyable afternoon writing.
Time to go home
The day was almost spent. It was time for us to head home. We had an excellent adventure. We ate a yummy meal at Rosie’s Place, watched Vikings do battle in an open field, and enjoyed some peaceful writing time at Big Ben Coffee Company. I noticed as we drove down the road the trees were starting to sprout buds.
The flowers started to bloom, and the grass turned an emerald green color to replace the dull, dead foliage of winter. As a result, the sound of lawnmowers filled the air as homeowners attempt to tame the unruly green stuff. Winter had come, but spring was battling to push the cold and ice back where it belonged. Therefore, the winter’s ice and snow become a distant memory consigned to the past. It is nature’s way for spring to be victorious. We will once again sashay in the warmth of the sun.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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