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Giving

The friends of chester donor program

Image Courtesy of Jim Olson

Chester M. Reiten, a native of Hastings, N.D., deeply influenced his city, state, and country, anchored in his Norwegian-American heritage. As an Ensign in the US Navy during WWII, he balanced military service with college, later graduating from NDSU in Ag Soil Sciences and marrying Joy Steenson Reiten, a distinguished navy veteran. Reiten’s impact extended as a County Agent, revitalizing 4-H programs and enhancing rural life and agriculture in Wells County. Transitioning into broadcasting, he became a successful entrepreneur and served as Mayor, State Senator, and Chairman of the Board, prioritizing community welfare.

In 1978, Reiten co-founded Norsk Høstfest to celebrate Nordic heritage, evolving it into an internationally renowned festival. Today, the Friends of Chester Donor Program continues his legacy, supporting Norsk Høstfest’s sustainability and growth. Donations to the program ensure the festival’s continuation, preserving Chester Reiten’s vision and commitment to cultural celebration. Joining the donor program helps uphold this cherished tradition, ensuring future generations can experience the joy and richness of Norsk Høstfest.

become a friend of chester

Contact Kevin to learn about payment plans for the $500 (Guardian) and $1,000 (Champion) Tiers.

A Brief History

Norsk Høstfest is held annually in the fall in the N.D. State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D., USA. The festival was founded in 1978 by the late Chester Reiten and a group of friends who shared his interest in celebrating their Nordic heritage. The festival, now entering into its 44th year, has grown into North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people attending from all over the world.

The festival features world-class entertainment, authentic Scandinavian cuisine, Scandinavian culture on display, and handcrafted Norsk merchandise.

While the festival has grown to become the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, there are other entities in Minot, ND that have sprouted from the same interest of preserving heritage and celebrating Nordic culture. Among those organizations that have been cultivated through the joint interest in the Scandinavian culture are the Scandinavian Heritage Association, and the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation.

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago – Warren Buffet

Get in touch

Kevin Burckhard

Norsk Høstfest Development Officer

701.721.3980

Kevin Burckhard.2