Shilshole’s Leif Erikson statue turns 50

On Sunday, June 17, the statue of Leif Erikson will have its 50th anniversary of being in Seattle. Fifty years ago, Seattle received the statue during Norway Day at the Seattle World’s Fair. And, in 2007, the statue was placed at Shilshole Marina, where it stands today.

The reception will be at the statue from 12 to 3 p.m. Kristine Leander, president of the Leif Erikson International Foundation (LEIF), says they will be asking attendees to sign pieces of paper, which they will then compile into a book. A similar book of comments from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1903 will also be on display, where you can see who signed in at the Swedish Building 103 years ago. They’ll ask for comments about the statue, or comments about people whose names are on the plaques.

The Nordic Heritage Museum will also be there to videotape people who want to talk about their experiences. They’ll also have music from accordion players at the reception. Click here to watch a video of the statue unveiled on July 17, 1962 at the Seattle World’s Fair.

In addition to the statue anniversary, LEIF is installing a new stone in front of the statue. They are asking for more names to add to the plaque; they have about 80 of 400 names needed before displaying it. In order to be eligible, the person has to be a Scandinavian immigrant, and donate $120 to the foundation.


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