Rockford restaurant celebrates Nordic Christmas traditions during “Snomarket” celebration

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO)- A local restaurant is embracing it’s Scandinavian roots to help bring in the Christmas season. The Norwegian, located at 1402 North Main Street in Rockford, was transformed into a Nordic fishing village for it’s third annual Snomarket Friday night.

“We really just wanted to bring people outside on the west side during the holidays,” said restaurant owner Emily Hurd. “There’s a herring toss for kids, you can get your picture taken with a yeti, there’s a horse-drawn carriage ride through Churchill’s Grove. There’s Viking dice games and Viking wooden yard games.”

The event will span three days for the first time this year. The market also has more vendors and activities for people to enjoy.

“We basically spaced it out over days to try to make sure the population is a little less than it was before. We were shoulder to shoulder the first year,” Hurd said. “This year, we’re trying to be at a little more of a distance. The huts are spaced out a little bit more, and we’re trying to just span the days so we don’t overcrowd people during a pandemic.”

Some visitors say the market is quickly becoming one of their favorite local holiday traditions.

“Our heritage is Scandinavian, so my daughter Freya, this is her first Christmas, and it’s a festive thing to-do. We like to support local businesses and cultures,” said Jennifer, one marketgoer from Rockton. “The glogg is amazing, the food is amazing, the lights and decor are gorgeous. Inside the restaurant is super warm and toasty, so we enjoy some time in there eating and meeting up with friends.”

The Snomarket will be open from 3pm to 9pm on December 18th and 19th.

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