ST. CLOUD -- Area families came out to Riverside Park Sunday to celebrate their Norwegian heritage at the 8th annual Sons of Norway Barnelopet.

The event featured music, Norwegian treats, people dressed in authentic Viking attire, and a free cross-country race for the kids.

For the past three years, Nicholas Snavely of the Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club has helped to provide the kids with ski equipment for the race.

"[The race is] a great opportunity for the kids to get involved and be active in the wintertime...and enjoy the outdoors," Snavely says.

Despite the recent mild temperatures, the event and the race were successful - with snow provided by the Nordic Ski Club.

"The turnout is great, we got great weather - if it would've snowed a couple inches like [the forecast said]...I'm sure more people would've thought [the event was on]," Snavely says.

"Those who came enjoyed the festivities, the Norwegian treats inside, and of course the ski races we put on."

Snavely and his family have been coming to the event since its first year as it has become a yearly tradition for Norwegians, skiing enthusiasts, and local families.

"It's really kid-focused and I have four kids myself and they always enjoy racing in the event and of course, enjoying the treats inside," Snavely says.

"It's just a good time to get the community outdoors and doing something fun on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the nice beautiful weather we have today."

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON