Wooden boats drew crowds
August 9, 2010
Wooden boat enthusiasts filled the harbour of the idyllic southern Norwegian town of Risør again over the weekend. The annual Risør Wooden Boat Festival attracted thousands, with Norway’s defense minister launching the celebration.
Grete Faremo could take a break from more serious matters to open this year’s festival, which sportingly commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Danish navy. Norway was under Danish rule from 1450 to 1814.
The festival allows proud owners to show off their boats, which ranged from ocean racers to small rowboats. Daily regattas and processions of motor boats take place during the festival in picturesque coastal town and its surrounding archipelago. In the evenings, shows and concerts are put on for visitors and residents alike.
“The weather cleared up just in time for the Thursday opening,” said a relieved festival spokesperson, Kamilla Solheim.
“On Friday, strong winds were just right to race the heaviest boats. On Saturday, the smaller sail boats had the gentler breeze they needed.”
Risør adds to its summer income by stretching the July holiday season with a Chamber Music Festival in June and the Wooden Boat Festival (external link) just before schools start up again in mid-August.
This helps keep free-spending tourists around for longer, in a town whichincreasingly depends on income from the summer season.