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Thousands Attend Bank Holiday Festivals

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Thousands Attend Bank Holiday Festivals

Thousands attended bank holiday festivals held all over Iceland last weekend; the most popular festivals this year were the Westmann Islands’ Thjódhátíd, Akureyri’s Ein med öll, and Siglufjördur’s Síldaraevintýri or “Herring Adventure.” Approximately 32 thousand guests attended the three most popular festivals during the weekend.

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Overview of Westmann Islands. Photo by Icelandic Press Agency.

Akureyri in North Iceland was host to the annual family festival Ein med öllu or “One with everything”; the name of the festival is borrowed from a common phrase used when purchasing the Icelandic Hot Dog. The festival commenced last Thursday with a troubadour evening in the town center’s main street; on Friday a concert was held where guests could request songs of their choosing to be performed and a program packed with activities for the family was scheduled for the Saturday in Rádhústorg plaza in the center, mbl.is reported.

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From downtown Akureyri. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The final event was a concert held on Sunday night where several performers played for the audience; the bands performing were Dikta and Reiðmenn Vindanna or “Riders of the Wind.” Solo performers were singer Jón Jónsson and Helgi Björnsson.

The Westmann Islands’ festival commenced on Thursday night with the annual Húkkaraball or the “pick-up dance.” Fewer attended the festival this year than last year when 17 thousand guests were in Herjólfsdalur valley at its peak. People were still arriving on Sunday night regardless of the rainy weather and a storm warning from the Icelandic Met Office. On Sunday night 14.000 guests participated in the annual Brekkusöngur or the "sing along" led by politician Árni Johnsen for “the 35th time or so” he told mbl.is.

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From Westmann Islands. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

6000 guests visited Siglufjördur in North Iceland for the annual Herring Adventure and 350 passengers from the cruise ship Minerra joined the festivities on Saturday. The weather was pretty good throughout the weekend with the occasional rain fall, Morgunbladid reports.

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From the Herring Adventure in Siglufjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Several thousand guests camped in South Iceland’s Flúdir where the annual world championship of Tractor Rally was held; contestants drove 50 horsepower tractors.

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From Flúdir. Photo by Páll Kristinsson.

In Westfjords’s Önundarfjördur fjord the annual Sandcastle competition was held on Saturday; adults and children alike gathered on the beach to make art and play. The goal is build the most beautiful castle although the term castle is being interpreted loosely; animals, ship, pyramids and other constructions that inspire the artist are as acceptable as the standard castle. Last year 70 works of art were created by more than 500 participants, ruv.is reports.

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From Westfjords. Photo by GO.

The event is organized for children to give them a chance to spend time with their parents and for parents to work side by side with their children in a playful environment.

Herjólfur ferry has been transporting exhausted festival guests from the Westmann Islands to Landeyjarhöfn harbor every three hours since yesterday afternoon, ruv.is reports. Police officers offered drivers the chance to test the remaining alcohol level by blowing into a breathalyzer before continuing their journey home, mbl.is reports.

Related articles about the bank holiday weekend in Iceland:

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