Successful Festival Weekend in North and South Iceland Skip to content

Successful Festival Weekend in North and South Iceland

The weather was warm and sunny in north Iceland last weekend to the joy of those who attended the Great Fish Day in Dalvík and the Handicraft Festival in Hrafnagil, outside Akureyri. In Reykjavík, the Gay Pride Parade attracted 80,000 people.

Reykjavík was bathed in all the colors of the rainbow and spectators enjoyed the parade and the show held on Arnarhóll afterwards. According to Morgunbladid, there have never been more events held in relation to Gay Pride in Reykjavík before.

From the parade.

At Arnarhóll. Photos by Candy Caldwell.

In Dalvík, organizers say that a record number of people attended the Great Fish Day this year. “We don’t have an exact number of visitors—there was an ocean of people. Turnout has never been as high,” the festival’s manager, Júlíus Júlíusson, told Fréttabladid.

The festival’s goal is for people to get together, have fun and eat various fish dishes for free. Júlíusson estimates that 100,000 portions were donated this year. The menu changes from year to year but popular dishes, such as the fish burgers that are grilled at an eight-meter long BBQ—Iceland’s longest BBQ, are a permanent feature.

“The fish burgers were a hit and we grilled 13,600 burgers, which is a record. The country’s largest soup pot—which carries 1,000 liters—was almost emptied. Bjarni Óskarsson and co from Nings cooked an oriental soup in it,” Júlíusson added.

An estimated number of 15,000 people attended the Handicraft Festival in Hrafnagil last weekend. “We have broken all admission records,” said the festival’s manager, Dóróthea Jónsdóttir. The festival was held for the 17th time this year.

The program included daily fashion shows, lectures, workshops and an exhibition of the work of 100 people. A store was open during the festival and Gudrún Ásgerdur Steingrímsdóttir was named the Handicraft Person of 2009 in an award ceremony.

“A design competition in woolen products was held in relation to the exhibition and therefore we thought it suitable to demonstrate how sheep are sheared,” Jónsdóttir said.

The shearing took place inside a fence where an old-fashioned spinning wheel was also located.

“Shearer Birgir Arason demonstrated machine shearing daily and two women from the countryside sat inside the fence [at the spinning wheel] to show how a thread is made from the wool,” Jónsdóttir explained.

Jónsdóttir said the atmosphere had been good throughout the festival weekend with the temperature rising to 20°C (68°F). “There is hardly an empty spot on the campsite.”

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