The upcoming Scandinavian festival in Dannevirke will be the town's big day out, organisers promise.
"This event has been more than 12 months in the planning and I'm just amazed by the support being offered, especially from the local Lions Club," said Jean Thompson-Church, convener of the festival organising committee.
Scandinavian heritage and culture is celebrated every two years with a festival of gathering and in 2011 the Scandinavian Club of Manawatu and the Norsewood community, hosted the 15th gathering.
"This year's event was originally offered to Wellington, but when not enough people put their hands up to help, Dannevirke people stepped in," Mrs Thompson-Church said.
"Although we have to observe the formalities the way our ancestors would have wanted, the festival is also a time of celebration and fun.
"New Zealand is the adopted country of many Nordic people, the land of promise to the early Scandinavian pioneers, and the land which gave new life and opportunity to so many."
On Friday, February 22, there will be an open day at the Norsewood and Districts School, before the focus turns to Dannevirke.
"At the school there will be cultural dances and visitors will be able to wander through the classrooms, chatting with pupils."
In the afternoon, people will be able to visit Dannevirke High School, where pupils will put on a concert from 2.30 until 3.30pm.
"The opening ceremony of the festival will be held in the Dannevirke Town Hall, including a flag ceremony. As I understand it, the high school's head boy and girl will lead the flag ceremony, followed by children from Norsewood in national costume carrying the flags."
The Saturday will be Dannevirke's big day out, with a street parade down High St and a cultural market day at the A&P; Showgrounds. "There will everything from Scandi food to Scandi therapy and it'll be a great day."
On the Saturday night a banquet, dancing and entertainment will be held in the town hall, with an outdoor thanksgiving service on the Sunday morning.
"In 2011 we had a wonderful night, dancing and celebrating and I'm sure this year will be no different," Mrs Thompson-Church said.
For Mrs Thompson-Church, remembering Scandinavian ancestors is a very personal remembrance.
"My great grandparents built Dannevirke's first house in Matthews St.
"They came here in 1872 and my great grandfather sailed out on the Ballarat which came to Napier with the Hovding.
"My grandmother was just 12 when she arrived and was married at just 15 and had 15 children. My father was her youngest and I am his youngest child," she said.
"For me, remembering and celebrating our Scandinavian ancestors is special."