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Danish Celebrations

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Upcoming Events and Activities


TIVOLI FEST 2017 - MAY 27th and 28th

"Generations of Love"

Downloadable Information and Events Flyer

Elk Horn's Danish Celebration is held each Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy Danish foods and specialties such as Smørrebrød, æbleskiver and Medisterpølse. Tours of the Danish Windmill, Bedstemor's, the Danish Immigrant Museum and visits to unique gift shops add to the experience. There is a parade, Danish folk dancers, an entertainment stage, fireworks and much more.

Tivoli Fest, Elk Horn's annual festival celebrating their Danish heritage, is a fun and exciting time for Danes as well as visitors from around Iowa and the nation. This year the two day event's theme is Tivoli Fest 2017 "#Æbleskivers". This 37th annual fest is packed with an assortment of activities sure to please visitors of all ages.

Folk Dancers at Tivoli Fest in Elk Horn, IowaIf you are coming to Tivoli the night before join the Tivoli Fest committee's early dance 7 to 10:00 p.m. and dine on Danish Hot Dogs and enjoy the live band Diego Garcia. To kick off the weekend, there will be a flag raising ceremony on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. on the Windmill grounds. Both the American and Danish flags will be presented and the national anthems played. At the conclusion of the flag rising be sure to join us on the 3-mile/5K Mill to Mermaid Fun Run beginning at 8:15 am at the Windmill and ending at the Little Mermaid fountain in Kimballton. Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group. The annual Tivoli Parade is held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. The parade features floats, marching bands, clowns, antique cars and trucks and a few surprises! New this year is the Inaugural Tivoli Fest World Æbleskiver Eating Championship at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the Fire station. Sunday is the Tour de Tivoli Bike Ride, the Antique Tractor Ride and the Walk For the Fallen.

The Windmill Entertainment Stage is a hub of free entertainment throughout the weekend. Scandinavian Folk Dancing groups from Kimballton and Omaha, including two children's groups, will perform traditional Danish and Scandinavian dance. Ron Johnson from North Liberty, Iowa will return with his Baldoni electronic accordion. You might catch him strolling through town playing his Danish music. Dwight Red Lamb will be featured on Sunday with his Danish Button Box accordion. This year joining Dwight is Bill Peterson.

Tivoli Fest is certainly a family event so we have included fun activities for the kids. Stop by the lot just west of the Danish Mill for the Bounce Rides. Another activity for the "Little Danes" is children activities at the library plus a Lego contest.

The Museum of Danish America will have Free Admission, a LEGO Demonstration and Ringridning. The Genealogy Center will also have Free Admission and will host a Æbleskivers Pans, Past and Present" Display. Bedstemor's House is an authentically restored 1910 "Grandmother?s House" and will also have Free Admission.

Check out the Viking Market and Camp at the VikingHjem and see how Vikings lived back in 900ad. Be sure to watch for this year's Tivoli Royalty King and Queen as they reign over the weekend's events. One place you may see them is at our famous 166 year old Danish Windmill. The mill was originally built in Denmark in 1848, then dismantled piece by piece and shipped to Elk Horn where community volunteers reassembled it over 41 years ago and now going through another reconstruction project to last another 40 years.

A visit to Tivoli Fest would not be complete without sampling some of our mouth-watering foods. Danish Open Faced Sandwiches, a work of art on a slice of bread, and Danish desserts will be served at the Town Hall, what a feast! The Fire Station is the place to get your æbleskiver and medisterpølse, the Danish version of pancakes and sausage. These ethnic foods are a hit with the entire family! Elk Horn also has a wonderful assortment of restaurants and bakeries including some that are only available during Tivoli Fest. Elk Horn is proud of the unique gift shops that make shopping an experience you won't soon forget. Don't miss the Open Air Street Market!

Broadway Street, on the north side of the former Danish Inn, will be filled with vendors from far and near. Stroll and shop a variety of art, antiques, tasty foods, handmade and commercial goods, flea market items, and more. Enjoy the experience of open air shopping!

The fun in Elk Horn doesn't end when the sun goes down ? enjoy a concert featuring DJ Chaos at the Elk Horn Fire Department and fireworks on Saturday night! Bring the whole family to the mill grounds for the FFA Barbeque. The Windmill Entertainment Stage will feature on- going entertainment such as the remake of the Newlywed show with local couples providing family fun entertainment right up until the skies are filled with our 18th annual fireworks display! Join Elk Horn Fire Department's hosting of the Iowa Craft Beer Tent.

Be sure to pick up a detailed schedule at any local business. Take a Danish vacation without a passport. We look forward to seeing you on Memorial Day weekend. Elk Horn is located in Southwest Iowa. Take Exit 54 off Interstate 80 and go 6 miles north.

JULEFEST 2017 - November 24th and 25th

"Celebrate the arrival of the Christmas Season"

Downloadable Information and Events Flyer

Getting into the holiday spirit is easy in the Danish Villages. Celebrated the weekend after Thanksgiving, the 39th Julefest offers visitors a way to kick start the Christmas season.

For thirty nine years, this magical festival has warmed hearts and provided a way to celebrate all things Danish. Julefest promises an array of traditional Danish food and tasty treats such as pastries, wine, glögg, pebbernødder, and rollepølse. Search for unique Christmas presents and decorations at gift shops, specialty stores, and craft fairs in both towns. Make the most of a winter?s day and listen to a Christmas concert, and watch for Father Christmas strolling through town. Try the 5th annual 5K Polar Run from the Little Mermaid in Kimballton to the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn Saturday morning, treats in the end.

Relish in the festive atmosphere of the villages - both towns will be decorated for Christmas and the streets lined with Danish and American flags. Pick up a brochure with a map of the local merchants and happenings at any of the Danish Villages businesses. Contact the Danish Windmill at (800) 451-7960.

Elk Horn and Kimballton are located in southwest Iowa, off I-80, 6 and 9 miles north of Exit 54 and no passport is required!

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Contact Info |

The Danish Windmill

P.O. Box 245, 4038 Main
Elk Horn, Iowa 51531
(712) 764-7472