Sporting Events

Nordic Fest is an amazing opportunity to try some Nordic sports, such as Mölkke and Kubb, and participate in the annual Elveløpet race along the Upper Iowa River. Will you be the next Ultimate Norseman?


Be sure to check the schedule for complete listings.

Winners of Ultimate Norseman competition

The Ultimate Nordic Triathlon

Athletics play an important role in the Scandinavian cultures. Strength, stamina and a strong stomach are all traits of the Norse. Festers who participate in the three Saturday events of the Elveløpet 5K or 15K run, Nordic Rock Throw, and the famed Lutefisk eating contest will have their results combined to face off with other Ultimate Norse!

Please register during packet pick-up for the Elvelopet and wear your bib number to all events.

Elvelopet race

Elveløpet 5K Run/Walk and 15K Run

Decorah’s City Hall (400 Claiborne Dr)

Decorah’s “River Run” race course along the Upper Iowa River and surrounding area highlights the natural beauty that Northeast Iowa has to offer. Hydration stations are provided along the course with fruit and drinks available at the finish line.

Learn more and register!



Will Baker Park
Friday, 6:30pm *
Registration: Nordic Fest Headquarters/Decorah Visitor Center by 5pm Friday

The Kanoløpet is a canoe race from Pulpit Rock Campground to the Twin Bridges located on 5th Street. The race will have two canoe divisions determined by the combined ages of the participants in each canoe (2/canoe max) and a third division for kayaks. Canoe teams with a combined age of 35 and under will be in the youth division, while 36 and up will compete in the adult division. The first canoe to pass under the Twin Bridges will be declared the winner. Cost is $30 per person and includes canoe rental, life jackets, and paddles. Those who provide their own canoe may enter for $20 per person.

* Event will be cancelled if river water levels are too high or low. Check at the Decorah Visitor Center for event status.

Nordic Rock Throw competitor

Nordic Rock Throw

Decorah Middle School field
Saturday, 1pm

There are three weight classes for men (50 lb. rock for up to 160 lbs.; 75 lb. rock for 161-210 lbs.; 100 lb. rock for over 210 lbs.) and 1 weight class for women (50 lb. rock for all weights). Must be at least 18 years of age. Entry fee: $2.00.

Lutefisk eating contest

Lutefisk Eating Contest

Courthouse Square
Saturday, 3:30pm

Put your lutefisk eating skills to the test in this competition. No registration or fee, just show up ready to down that lutefisk!

Bags Tournament

Decorah Middle School Field
Friday and Saturday

$10 entry fee/team – cash only. Register on site.

Double elimination. Cash prizes for the first, second and third place winners.

Friday registration 1:30-1:50pm; Play 2:00-4:00pm.

Saturday registration 1:30-1:50pm; Play 2:00-4:00pm.