Thursday, October 6, 2011

Leif Ericson Day, Durham, NH 2011

34th Annual Leif Ericson Parade, Durham, New Hampshire
Sunday, October 9th, 2011
6:30 AM at the Laundromat on Main Street

When I was growing up in Holden, Massachusetts a large majority of the townspeople were of Scandinavian descent.  We had a kid in the neighborhood named Leif Ericson, and his brother was Eric Ericson.  During social studies class we all giggled when learning about the Viking with the same name. But we were also secretly envious of such a cool moniker. 

Later, when I moved to New Hampshire, I was fascinated to learn about Leif Ericson Day.  This is an annual, non-organized even where marchers gather at the Laundromat on Main Street in Durham.  Everyone dresses in their favorite Scandinavian sweaters, Viking helmets (complete with horns), or other festive garb.  There is a salute to Leif Ericson, with many “Hurrahs”.  Upon hearing the horn blow, they all march together, a total of 25 feet, for breakfast at Young’s Restaurant.  It is always celebrated on Columbus Day weekend, and this year it will be held on the morning of October 9, Sunday, at about 6:30 AM.  You don’t need to be a Swede, Norwegian, Danish or Finnish to participate!

Leif Ericson Day is celebrated internationally on October 9th. According to an article in Foster's Daily Democrat  "...the traditional parade began in 1977 when Nobel K. Peterson and two others wanted to do something in conjunction with Leif Ericson Day, which is Oct. 9. Peterson and his friend were doing laundry when they decided to march next door to Young's Restaurant in honor of the Icelandic explorer known as the first European to land in North America."  At the restaurant the annual proclamation by President Obama and by New Hampshire's Governor Lynch will be read.

Check out the many silly videos of the Durham Leif Ericson parade on

Ha det gøy! (Have fun!)   

For more information:

 See the website Foster's Daily Democrat, "The Vikings are Coming!" By Robert M. Cook, Friday, October 9, 2009.

Young’s Restaurant, 48 Main Street, Durham, New Hampshire

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Actually Mrs Nobel K Peterson has reprimanded me for having horns on my helmet!

  2. what the?!

    But Hagar the Horrible had a horned helmet...