The Norwegian loggers, farmers, and fishermen who settled in Poulsbo in 1885 loved the town so much they nicknamed it Little Norway. Norwegians comprised 90% of the town’s population and Norwegian was the primary language until the World War II era when an influx of shipyard employees working in nearby Bremerton settled in Poulsbo and the population became more diversified.
Poulsbo is a popular and beautiful tourist destination. The Scandinavian heritage can be seen in the architecture of the downtown area, the Norwegian flag flying from many businesses and homes, and the street signs bearing the names of Norwegian royalty. King Olav V visited Poulsbo as part of the celebration of 150 years of Norwegian settlement in the United States.
Shops, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and art galleries line the main street. Of particular interest is the world famous Sluys’ Bakery (Viking Cups are to die for!) and Marina Market which carries a host of Scandinavian delicacies.
|A Viking Cup courtesy of Dianne Faw|
The Sons of Norway teach Norwegian dance, language, and rosemaling, the beautiful floral painting that adorns carved furniture and household items. Viking Fest, a celebration of the Scandinavian heritage is held annually in May, and the Christmas season (sorry, the Jul season) reflects all the Scandinavian traditions.
|A mural depicting Poulsbo's heritage|