BEMIDJI – Sisters who were born in Bemidji to a mother who played organ at Calvary Lutheran Church remember when Christmas meant grandmother singing “Silent Night” in Norwegian.
The three Norvold sisters, now all grown up and married with eight children among them, are bringing their memories to the Northern Lights Event Center on Dec. 9.
“A Holiday Mixed Bag” is a fundraiser for the Tianna Country Club in Walker, the site of numerous charity tournaments that raise tens of thousands of dollars for local charities each year. Tianna has partnered with many nonprofits, including the Good Citizen Scholarship Fund; The Sauer Memorial Tournament, which raises money for Bemidji State University; and the Walker Area Community Center.
Although the family left Bemidji about 1973, many people here still remember Randvig (Randy) and Douglas Norvold, who prompted their daughters to sing together and put on variety shows in venues around Minnesota.
The Norvold sisters regrouped after college, won the Minnesota State Fair amateur talent contest in 1993 and then became “Sister,” a close harmony singing group that brings the joy and chaos of Christmas celebrations done the Norwegian way.
Kjersten Dysthe, Alisa Leonard and Kara Millerhagen are 100 percent Norwegian and build their comedy sketches around familiar relatives and the traditional foods and drinks of the holidays. One of the characters, Gundren, is a good- hearted spinster with a Minnesota accent who encourages people to “Be an Elf for Yourself.”
“She’s funny and everyone says they have a relative just like her,” Leonard said.
“The biggest thing about our show is that it’s super fun and we hope that everyone comes away feeling that they’ve got the energy to go out and bring the holidays to someone else,” Millerhagen said.
Beginning at 5 p.m., a “Taste of Christmas” will feature a variety of holiday foods from local restaurants. A silent auction of 30 handmade decorated wreaths will be held and, at 7 p.m., the Sisters show will transport the audience into Christmases past with a Scandinavian slant.
A true family event, tickets are $40 each, which includes two $5 “Taste” tickets. Included in the ticket price will be a coffee and dessert bar to be held during the intermission of the Sister show.
For a preview of “Sister,” go to sisterproductions.com. Tickets may be purchased by calling 218-547-1712 or 218-652-2466, or by email at email@example.com.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Tianna Capital Campaign.