August 2, 2014 6:07 pm

125 years of Icelandic history in Gimli

Ashley Carter/Global News

GIMLI – Thousands of onlookers are taking a step back in time this weekend in Gimli.

For 125 years the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba has celebrated the Viking way of life in Manitoba which boasts the largest population of Icelanders outside of Iceland

“The town was settled here and they named it Gimli because Gimli means paradise in Icelandic so they found this their paradise and they settled it here,” said event organizer Warren Cummins.

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“It’s really interesting and we have some Icelandic heritage so it’s interesting to hear about the history,” said one visitor.

Tents in the village offer demonstrations of sewing, cooking, knife sharpening, and a blacksmith is set up in the heart of it.

“I find history very interesting and it’s always way more interesting to do it than read it out of a textbook so you can learn more by experiencing it,” said a bread maker.

“It was a pretty hard life and you worked all the time because if I wasn’t working I’m not making money,” said the blacksmith.

Organizers estimate between 500-700 people are expected to walk through the village every hour at the free festival which runs until Monday afternoon.

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