|Work is underway on the first Nordic Fest booths in 1967.|
In a March 11, 2015 interview, Ruth T. Woldum, a sorority member who served on the committee that organized varme polse at the first Nordic Fest in 1967, shared several interesting insights:
- The Nordic Fest committee issued a call for nonprofit food booths in planning the first event. Beta Sigma Phi chapters responded, researched recipes, focused on authentic Norwegian sausage preparation, and a hit was born.
- Varme polses sold for 50 cents in 1967.
- Resources in Calmar, Provitin and Dubuque have helped prepare the sausages each year especially for Nordic Fest.
- Proceeds from varme polse sales have been divided among participating Beta Sigma Phi chapters over the years. Each chapter votes on how to distribute all booth proceeds to community and charitable needs. Projects strengthened by Nordic Fest sales include the Decorah High School After Prom and Helping Services of Northeast Iowa, among many others.
- Cake and ice cream cakes have previously been offered by Beta Sigma Phi at Nordic Fest. Varme polse remains the hit with the crowds.
- Like many of the official nonprofit food booths at Nordic Fest, there have been years of running out and years of leftovers. Ordering supplies given uncertainties of year-to-year weather and crowds is a continual challenge.
Thank you Ruth and all the members of Beta Sigma Phi over the years for both your yummy treats and for putting those proceeds to work in the community!