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TIVOLI FEST 2019 - MAY 24th, 25th, & 26th

"Elk Horn On The Rise" | Celebrating 40 years of Tivoli Fest

Downloadable Information and Events Flyer

Tivoli Fest, Elk Horn, Iowa's annual Danish festival celebrating their Danish heritage, is a fun and exciting time for Danes as well as visitors from around Iowa and the nation. With the rise in new businesses coming to town, the Museum of Danish America becoming accredited and the historic Danish Windmill being restored to working condition again, they have many reasons to celebrate!

This 40th annual festival is packed with an assortment of activities sure to please visitors of all ages. To kick off the weekend, there will be pre-Tivoli Fest activities on Friday, May 24. Hired Guns Band will perform at the Elk Horn Fire Station from 7-10 pm. Composed of veteran musicians, including Mark Christensen and Kevin Larsen of Diego Garcia, the band packs a punch, playing your favorites from classic rock to classic country. Free-will donations will be accepted at the gate for this concert. Enjoy the music with a cold beer from the Iowa Craft Beer Tent and Danish Hot Dogs will also be available for purchase.

The opening ceremonies kick off Saturday morning at 8 am at the Danish Windmill with a flag raising of the Danish and American flags and a performance of both countries' national anthems. The Mill to Mermaid 5k Fun Run is at 8:15 beginning from the Windmill grounds and ending at the Little Mermaid fountain in Kimballton. Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group.

At 11:00 it's time for the annual Tivoli Parade featuring floats, marching bands, clowns, antique cars and trucks and a few surprises!

The 3rd Annual World Æbleskiver Eating Contest begins Saturday afternoon at 2:00 with an amateur round followed by the nationally-known professional's round.

The Windmill Entertainment Stage is a hub of free entertainment throughout the weekend. Scandinavian Folk Dancing groups from the Danish Villages and Omaha will perform traditional Danish and Scandinavian dances. And, back by popular demand, folk musicians Dwight Lamb, Bill Peterson and Tom Carlson will be in concert during the weekend as well. Be sure to listen to the accordion musician Ron Johnson.

At the VikingHjem, there will be a Viking Enactment and Rope Making Demonstration which is sure to please the young and young at heart! Check out the Viking Market and Camp and see how Vikings lived back in 900 AD.

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 the famous 171-year-old Danish Windmill which originally built in Denmark in 1848, then dismantled piece by piece and shipped to Elk Horn where community volunteers reassembled it over 40 years ago. The Mill has undergone a major restoration over the last two years so be sure to stop by for a tour.

A visit to Tivoli Fest would not be complete without sampling some of our mouth-watering traditional Danish foods. Saturday only at the Town Hall, try smørrebrød, the Danish open-faced sandwich that is "a work of art on a slice of bread", and Danish desserts-- what a feast! Also on Saturday only, enjoy æbleskiver and medisterpølse, the Danish version of pancakes and sausage at the Fire Station. Enjoy a wonderful assortment of Danish and American foods throughout Tivoli Fest at local restaurants, including some that are only available during Tivoli Fest, food trucks and the open air street market.

Tivoli Fest is certainly a family event so there are fun activities for the kids. Stop by the Elk Horn Library to view the LEGO contest and check out the Elk Horn History Exhibit which will also be on display. Children's Bounce Houses will be available from 12-5 pm on Saturday near the site of the Fitness Center building.

The Museum of Danish America celebrates Danish roots and American dreams, and will feature several new exhibits and offer free admission for the festival. After touring the Museum, take the walking path to Bedstemor's House, Danish for Grandmother's House. You will enjoy a step into the past in this house that has been lovingly restored to reflect life during the period of 1910-1920. The Genealogy Center will feature a lecture on Danishness.

Don't miss the Strøget or Open Air Street Market! Vendors from far and near will fill Broadway Street on the south side of the Egg Krate. Stroll and shop for a variety of art, antiques, tasty foods, handmade and commercial goods, flea market items, and more. In addition to open air shopping be sure to visit our local retail stores which include several new businesses.

Stop by the Park to see the Show and Shine Car Show. Then take in a new and entertaining lecture at the Elk Horn Town Hall at 6 pm Saturday. Warren Watson will speak about local history from the past called Horse Thieves, Murderers, Manhunt, Shootout, Lynching!!

The fun in Elk Horn doesn't end when the sun goes down - enjoy Tivoli Follies, a local talent show and the new Tivoli Trivia Contest. Join Elk Horn Fire Department?s hosting of the Iowa Craft Beer Tent and a concert featuring "The First Name Band" at the Elk Horn Fire Station and our 18th annual fireworks display on Saturday night!

Sunday is also filled with events and food to please everyone. Enjoy a new feature on Sunday is a breakfast bowl that starts at 7:30 am. The Danish Table, one of the new restaurants in town, will feature æbleskivers.

Registration for the Tour de Tivoli 26-mile bike ride begins at 9 am at the Danish Windmill. The Antique Tractor Ride begins at 9 am at the Elk Horn City Park, and a Community Church Service will be held at 10:30 am at the Danish Winery. The famous "Polka Police Band" will provide music at the New Century Art Guild Building on Main Street. Enjoy a fun and entertaining "Walk Through the Past" lecture at the Elk Horn Cemetery.

Detailed schedules are available at any local business and you can find further information at Elk Horn is located in southwest Iowa between Des Moines and Omaha. Just take Exit 54 off Interstate 80 and go 6 miles north. Plan your trip to Elk Horn now to take a Danish vacation without a passport. We look forward to seeing you on Memorial Day weekend!

Keep the Mill Turning Donation Link

Contact Info |

The Danish Windmill

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