Dress up and ‘Shake Your Bacon’

Fairway Estates

The Valkenhaus Hexenbrut Witches Dance, guided by Nick and Kristin Vakenhaus, will perform their Witches Dance at Port Clinton’s Trunk or Treat celebration of Halloween on Madison Street on Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. Enjoying a rehearsal over the weekend at the Valkenhaus estate on the Portage River were: Mary Jackson, Alyssa Valkenhaus, Rayne Lattlage-Lehr, and Aleksander, Kristin, Nick, Ivonova, Ulrick (with baby) and Peter Valkenhaus. (Photo by D’Arcy Egan)

Witches Dance to highlights Port Clinton’s Halloween celebration on Oct. 26

Halloween is a time for dressing up as witches and dancing!

For the third year, the Valkenhaus Hexenbrut Witches Dance will highlight Port Clinton’s Downtown Trunk or Treat, a Halloween event on Madison Street on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m.

“We’re expecting our largest group of dancers ever for this year’s Trunk or Treat celebration,” said Kristin Valkenhaus, of Port Clinton, who spearheads the unique dance troop with her husband, Nick. They also are welcoming everyone, both young and old, to join in.

“The Witches Dance is a fun family event, and we are inviting everyone to create witches costumes, a witches broom, and perform the Witches Dance with us,” she said.

To get in the mood, there are a wide variety of YouTube videos of the Witches Dance to check out, including last year’s Port Clinton Witches Dance at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCGvsRrfTUc

The Witches Dance will take over Madison Street at 1:30 p.m., and again at 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

“The Witches Dance is a celebration for people of all ages,” said Kristin. “It is designed to be a family dance, patterned after the first Witches Dance popularized by Wolfshager Hexenbrut from The Brocken in the Hartz Mountains of Germany. Their celebration takes place in spring on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia.

“In America, we dress up and have a fall Witches Dance to celebrate Halloween. In Germany, the celebrations take place in the spring on ‘Walpurgisnaght Night.’ In Denmark, their ‘Midsommer Aften’ in late June is the time for festivities. All of these holidays are tied together with witches and The Brocken, where Wolfshäger Hexenbrut first began performing the Witches Dance to Peter Fox’s song, “Schuttel deinen Speck,” which translates in English to ‘Shake Your Bacon.’

“The videos of the first Witches Dance took off, and dance is now known worldwide!” exclaimed Kristin.

The Valkenhaus family is Danish with Germanic roots, explained Nick Valkenhaus. Their holidays and traditions are part of their culture and heritage. For Halloween, the “Valkenhaus Hexenbrut” dress up as witches and perform the Witches Dance to celebrate its Danish, Germanic, and American heritage.

“In Denmark, witches don’t fly, so the tradition that takes place at Midsummer is to send Danish witches to The Brocken by giving them ‘the power of flight’ to join their German friends for dance and revelry,” said Kristin.

The Brocken (also known as Blocksburg) is the highest peak in the Hartz Mountains in Germany with lore dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years at this place filled with mystery that has ties to Germany, Denmark, and witches.

The Valkenhaus family owns and operates Norhalla, Inc., where they write and publish children’s books based on Nordic lore and Norse Mythology, along with accompanying merchandise like kids’ plush dolls, books, and other goods. Norhalla’s website is www.norhalla.com.

The Valkenhaus family also hosts Danish Days Kids Camp on the first Saturday of the month to introduce children to Danish culture and heritage. Danish Days can be found on Facebook at @DanishDays. The next Danish Days Kids Day Camp is Nov. 2, beginning at noon.

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