For all of us who live in Risør, or have a connection to the town, or visit from time to time, the month of August is associated with wooden boats. The reason for this is of course that in the beginning of August, Risør’s inner harbour has been the unique setting for one of Europe’s largest and oldest wooden boat festival for over 30 years.
The festival has evolved over the years from being a meeting place for boat builders and others in the trade, to becoming a festival for everybody. Most of us festival enthusiasts are, after all, just amateurs who enjoy the sight of these wonderful wooden vessels and enjoy the exciting maritime atmosphere.
Many have pointed out that strolling along the quayside during the festival is like reliving one’s childhood years. The sight of beautiful sailing boats, magnificent old traditional craft, not to mention the proud sailing ships, is like a journey in the past. It is a feeling of something genuine, it is summer mood, it is Risør Wooden Boat Festival.
Risør Wooden Boat Festival started as an event for a small group of wooden boat enthusiasts back in 1984, but has gradually evolved to become a large, popular and colourful festival. It takes place during the first weekend of August.
The festival has changed somewhat over the years, but the love of the many wonderful and unique wooden boats remains. Today the Risør Wooden Boat Festival is one of Norway’s most important maritime events, focusing on wooden boats, coastal heritage and maritime history.