Twice a year the Heavener Runestone Park in southeastern Oklahoma holds its Viking Fest in April and October with all things Viking and Celtic. The park is loaded with costumed characters and families on outings. Picnics are held as children enjoy turkey legs and corn dogs, Celtic music is heard throughout the park and it is transformed back in time to an era we can only dream about.
The festival is held to celebrate the runestone and dream about a by-gone age. Vendors come from all across the United States to sell their wares. Food trucks line the road and there are tables to eat the morsels found along the way.
I was enchanted with the forest the first time I traveled to the southeast part of the state near Poteau to the Heavener Runestone Park. The idea that Vikings were in Oklahoma before Christopher Columbus found the new world was interesting and Glome’s Valley was born.
The sandstone monolith sits in the valley with ancient carvings on it claiming the valley for someone named Glome. At least that is what some people believe. It is the backdrop for my Oklahoma fairytale, Glome’s Valley. I wrote a story about a young boy who hiked the trails near the stone and ran into a Viking ghost. They had adventures as only a child could. They encountered trolls, fairies, and of course Thor and his trouble-maker brother, Loki.
Glome’s Valley and Return to Glome’s Valley are on sale through August on Kindle for $.99. If you and your children haven’t read them, check them out. I recently wrote a short story titled Stone of Thor which will be featured in Okie Comics later on this year. Here’s an excerpt.
Last year when Ethan first came to Heavener with his dad, Glome had given him a rock with the sign of Thor written in ancient Futhark like the runes on the famous Heavener Runestone. He said it would protect him from bad things in the forest. And the worst thing in the forest was Loki, step-brother to the Norse god Thor. Ethan found out that if you needed him, Thor was available to help just by rubbing the stone and calling out his name. But you didn’t call Thor unless it was an emergency. Now the rock was missing.
After dinner when the fireflies came out and darkness came, Ethan went to his swinging bed and curled up. Dad was snoring in his own bed. Ethan had almost drifted off when something made the bed sway. He opened his eyes and saw Loki sitting at the end of the bed. He wore green clothing and his long nose pointed down until it almost met his chin on the way up. The inside of the cottage sparkled with the eyes of imps who often traveled with their master, Loki. They had never visited the inside of Ethan’s house before.
“Did I wake you young man?” Loki smiled an evil grin.
Ethan instantly reached under his pillow for the rock that protected him in time of need. But it wasn’t there.
“Looking for this?” Ethan’s rock with the sign for Thor dangled between his fingers.
“Give that back!” Ethan sat up and grabbed for the rock sending his bed swaying as Loki disappeared.
“You’ll never get this back. It’s mine now. In fact, I plan to throw it into the forest where it will never be found again. Your days of being protected by my brother are over.” Ethan saw a flash of green and Loki was gone.
I always look forward to the festival and this year it will be bigger and better. The weather should be great. Bring the kids and pick up a copy of the Oklahoma fairytale Glome’s Valley and its sequel, Return to Glome’s Valley.
Visit the park!