The first Emigrant Festival in Kvinesdal took place during the summer of 1989. Kvinesdal Council created a project group in 1987, whose task was to promote travel and tourism in the area. The Norwegian-American society in the Kvinesdal county lead by Viking Lodge enthusiastically started to plan and manage the project and to create the festival. This project was further strengthened by the positive attitude and willingness to participate from local clubs and associations. Economical support is received from the Kvinestal Council, Tinfoss Jernverk and Kvinesdal Sparebank.
All this has helped to create an interesting weeklong festival packed with a variety of activities.
It was decided that the festival should take place as close to the 4th of July as possible and that the arrangements should last for 8 days. It was also important that all parts of the council from Feda in the south, to Knaben in the north should be involved in the festivities.
The purpose of the festival is to give Norwegian-American residents in both Norway and America a chance to meet up, reminisce, and share good times. At the same time the festival should welcome all residents in the council. Every year the festival has attracted around 4-5000 visitors, and its popularity is growing.
The dedicated volunteers who run this special festival every year put in an enormous effort to create a successful and memorable celebration.