A renowned event in Bosque County and beyond, the 2021 Norwegian Country Christmas Tour has more destinations, culture, history and heritage in store than ever before. As a home tour and an opportunity to share the stories of centuries past, this local event from the Clifton Chamber of Commerce is back with more to see of beautiful Bosque County than before. The tour is self-guided, with a map of locations to explore.
The tour technically starts Friday, December 3rd, with a lighted Christmas parade through downtown Clifton. Lineup begins at 6, while the parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Click here for pictures of last year’s parade, and contact the Clifton Chamber to get involved at at 254-675-3720.
Live entertainment will be featured in the downtown area throughout the day, with the Norwegian Luncheon served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Clifton Civic Center. The meal is traditional Norwegian cuisine, prepared by the Cranfills Gap Chamber of Commerce. Tour tickets cost $12, with the luncheon at $12 per person. Carriage rides in downtown Clifton will be provided from 3 to 6 p.m., compliments of First National Bank.
The historic St. Olaf Lutheran Kirke, better known to residents as “The Old Rock Church,” is located four miles east of Cranfills Gap. The interior and exterior of the church have been restoredd to their original finsihed state. Local choirs and musicians will be performing seasonal songs throughout the day, always a delight to the ears of anyone within reach.
An exceptional experience awaits you at the Bosque Arts Center. Two galleries of original art along with the Tablescapes exhibit provides visitors with a unique experience, and a rare opportunity to see the art of tavble decorating in numerous styles and genres. More than 40 tables will be on display in our Tin Building Theatre for you to peruse for use at your own gatherings of family and friends. Along with the Bosque Arts Center decked out in holiday decorations, the BAC brings the distinctive designs of Quilts, both old and new, from this generation ofo quilters and the past. The gallery is located in the Atrium disply and a second floor hallway of galleries. The gift shop provides a mix of ideas for gift giving: Jewelry, paintings, pottery, decorations, and other items are available for purchse. Art member groups and guilds have their wares on display and for sale throughout this local nonprofit as well.
The Father of Norwegian Immigration to America is buried at the cemetery of the church. Meet Cleng Peerson as he comes to life again to tell his chilling and excting stories of Norwegian travels to America and Bosque County. Tour the beautiful “Mother Church” of the Norse Community.
Built in 1859, this was the first site of Lutheran Church services in 1867. A monument was erected in 1932 on the roadside to honor the site. The house has been under renovation for several years. The Norwegian Society has raised funds from donations and other projects to fund the renovation. Have some refreshments and tour this early Norwegian historic home, with many stories to boot.
Come and experience the museum with “Happy Christmas: Christmases from the Past when the World was at Peace.” Meet “Sam”, the oldest known resident of Bosque County, approximately 11,200 years of ages. Take a look into the Horn Shelter found near here, one of the oldest finds known. Tour the largest collection of Norwegian historical items in the South and Southwest. Stop at the gift shop for some Christmas and historical fare.
The Switching House, which was the Aulie sisters’ home, was originally located in the community of Norse and was home to the Norse Community Telephone Company, found in 1907. It housed the telphone switch board and provided the party lines for the rural Norwegian community. The Aulie sisters lived there from 1922 to 1943 and served as the operators. They managed the switchboard, both day and night. Later, it was purchased in 1970 by Sam McGlasson and relocated to the historic Rogstad farm to serve as a deer camp. The Dawsons, current property ownwers, have restored and and added to the small home, introducing modern conveniences and finishes, while preserving many features of its original construction.
It was December 22, 2015. With Christmas just two days away, many people were awaiting the arrival of Christmas Eve and Santa Clause, but on FM 219, they were waiting for the delivery of a different package. This package was riding behind a heavy duty hauler, with a jolly fellow from Brownwood at the helm of this sleigh! Jim King was as careful as Santa, traveling just 3.5 miles with his delivery of the Grand Old Pederson Home. This home was designed and built in 1891 and 1892 by John Nordahl for John Pederson. Nordahl built several other homes in the area. The design in noteworthy for its dormer-like gables – whose ends are flush with the underlying walls – and also for it’s one-story porch and simple plan. Buck and Sidney Thomason welcome people to come see the progress being made as they work to restore and renovate this wonderful old home. It has been a slow process, but done so to ensure the house withstands the passage of time.
This 1935 Craftsman charmer was built by Ole Seljos and his wife Eda (Dietiker) Seljos-Kral-Foust. This home was built next door to Eda’s parents, Jakob and Esther Dietiker, and was the site of Clifton’s first flower shop – Clifton Floral Company.
The Valley View House is a new addition this year after just being built. It has been designed with inspirations from old barn homes to create a modern-style farmhouse. The view this house bestows is historic. In 1854, the first Norwegian settlers traveled through this area to settle in Norse.
Shop ’til you drop at the huge arts and crafts booths at the Armory in Clifton City Park. Demonstrators and artisans will show their skills at historic art forms, and sell their wares. Purchase baked goods, German specialties, Norwegian goodies, woodwork, candles, handmade jewelry, art, and other items.
After the Joseph Olsen family immigrated to the United State from Norway in 1858, they lived first in the homes of Norwegian immigrants in the Norse community. In 1866, Olson built a log cabin for his family on part of his original seven-acre farm. The cabin served as the family’s primary residence until 1872, when a larger stone house was constructed. The log cabin remained on the Olson farm and in the possession of the Olson Family until the 1970s. It was moved to its current site and reconstructed in 1985 as a reminder of the Norwegian heritage in the area.
Call 254-675-3720 or 1-800-344-3720 to get your tickets and more information today. And watch for more coverage of this incredible holiday tradition in the near future.