Bold Vikings, Merlin the Wizard, dulcimers, food and soaring falcons will take over one area park this weekend.
The Runestone Viking-Celtic Festival 2013 event will offer families and individuals an atmospheric, fun-filled setting to embrace entertainment and history, said Mike Kennerson, Heavener city manager and president of Friends of Heavener Runestone Inc. The event, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Heavener Runestone Park, 18365 Runestone Road in Heavener, will raise money to help operate the park and will give visitors an up-close look of Viking life, he said.
"For both days, we’ll have vendor and food booths, along with Viking re-enactors with their tents set up to demonstrate how people lived," said Kennerson.
Examples of Viking weapons be on display, and festival staff will teach people how to play Hnefatafl, the strategic board game of the Vikings, he said.
"This festival is to provide entertainment and great family fun for everyone, while supporting the operational fund for the park to stay open, free to the public year-round," Kennerson said.
Performances by area and visiting groups also will leave a positive impression for festival-goers, he said. Performing both days, in order of appearance, will be Sister Circle Dulcimer Group, Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer Band, Whispering Spirits, Merlin the Wizard, Doug Russell, Gatling & Hoffpauir and Without A Net, Kennerson said.
The festival’s "Birds of Prey" program will include a falconry demonstration with Tommy Young & Friends from the Rich Mountain-based Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in the South Lawn area of the park’s Community Building, he said.
"It’s hard to determine how many people will attend, because we are still growing our festivals," Kennerson said. "The amphitheater where the entertainers will be performing has seating for about 250 people.
"Plus, we have an area further up where people can bring lawn chairs; that area will hold about another 100 people," he added.
Kennerson urged everyone attending to "get into" the spirit of the festival.
"We would love to get 150 cars or more of people a day for this year’s event," he said. "Plus, we encourage costumes by everyone attending."
Runestone Viking-Celtic Festival 2013
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Heavener Runestone Park, 18365 Runestone Road in Heavener
The all-ages event includes performances by, in order of appearance, Sister Circle Dulcimer Group, Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer Band, Whispering Spirits, Merlin the Wizard, Doug Russell, Gatling & Hoffpauir and Without A Net. The event also includes Viking re-enactors, the "Birds of Prey" program, food, vendors, and more. Admission is $5 per carload each day. Money raised will go to support the park. Park gates will be open from 8 a.m. to dusk.
For information, call (918) 653-2241 or visit the event’s Facebook page.