An organizational meeting was held on January 16, 1943, and the Washington Lodge was formally chartered September 19, 1943 with 73 members. We will be celebrating our 75th anniversary in 2018.
Norwegian Christmas Festival & Bazaar
Our first Norwegian Christmas Bazaar was held in 1967 at the Washington Hilton Hotel. We have had an annual Christmas bazaar ever since. This event serves both as a fundraiser and as outreach to the community. In recent years, it has expanded from simply selling Norwegian and Scandinavian goods to become a festival with many cultural activities and demonstrations. From 1997-2008, our bazaar was part of the Royal Norwegian Embassy’s Christmas at Union Station. From 2009-2012, the annual event was held at the Fairfax Elks Club. Starting in 2013, the Norwegian Christmas Festival & Bazaar has been held at Christ Lutheran Church in Fairfax, directly across the street from our lodge's home at the Norway House. Becalsue of the Covid Virus, in 2020 the Festival & Bazaar was held in Norway House.
We celebrate Syttende Mai (17th of May) by co-sponsoring and participating with other Norwegian-American organizations and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in both a dinner dance and a picnic. Syttende Mai is also called Norwegian Constitution Day and commemorates the signing of the Constitution of Norway on May 17, 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom.
A building committee was established in 1959. In 1963 a building fund was begun with the intention of establishing a lodge home and a self-sustaining Norwegian Cultural Center. In 2007 the Lodge purchased a lodge home in Fairfax, Virginia. It's informally called the Norway House and is home to many of our lodge activities.
Washington Lodge was named the International Lodge of the Year for 1999 at the Sons of Norway International Convention held at Stavanger, Norway, in 2000.
Washington Lodge was host to the Third District Convention in 1964 and co-host in 2008.
Our Lodge Newsletter, the Capital Viking, has placed first in the Third District Newsletter Competition.
In 2018, we held a 65th Anniversary Celebration picnic at the Cultural Center with 6 past presidents in attendance.