Southern Norway is known for its residents that emigrated to the United States. Kvinesdal is no exception and there are many exciting stories of those that have made the journey. A survey in the mid 80 's showed that approximately 10 % of residents in Kvinesdal were U.S. citizens. Another interesting survery some time ago showed that 17% of all those who had the name Steven and Stanley in Norway, lived in Kvinesdal.
Many of these stories and history can be found at the American Emigration Museum(Utvandrermuseet) in Kvinesdal. This is located next to the city centre and is easy to find thanks to the large American and Norwegian sign at the front of the house.
Most times you visit the museum, you will meet a very friendly man called Toralf Haugland that will give you a guided tour. He has a vast knowledge about this history and had also written most of the historical plaques on the walls describing events, places and people. Do not forget to try out the old jukebox - it still works! Listen to an old Elvis tune or two.
It is important to get these returning American emigrants and immigrants together, so naturally a festival is a good idea. In 1989, the American Emigrant festival (Kvinesdal utvandrerfestival) was created. Over nine days of activities at the festival include tours of the museum, a free movie based on the festival shown at the local cinema, shrimp party, concert, line dancing and a Sons of Norway party.
Sons of Norway is the largest Norwegian/American organisation in the world started in the united States by emigrants.
The American tourists will also be glad to know that a local food store called Nico's has a large selection of American foods, drinks and dressings. Their staff also speak good English.
There is also life size bronze monument in the city centre that re-creates the departure of a young family to America from Kvinesdal.
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The American Emigration Festival, museum, foods and monuments bring American influence to Kvinesdal.
Nesgata 11, 4480 Kvinesdalphone: (+47) 38 35 77 00 fax: (+47) 38 35 77 email@example.com
Opening hours: Everyday: 08.00-15.00
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