- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The Accordion Club is celebrating 25 years of making music at the annual Norsk Hostfest in Minot.

The club scheduled a banquet and dance Friday night to celebrate the achievement. It also produced a history book and a CD featuring songs from its 2013 performances to mark the occasion.

The club has about 220 members from four Canadian provinces and five U.S. states, ranging in age from their late teens to their early 90s. About 75 of them are participating at the Scandinavian heritage festival in Minot this week, the Minot Daily News reported.

“We have to be very proud today that the people are still coming,” said Carl Anderson, a Saskatchewan resident and a charter member of the club.

Club members credit their longevity to good leadership through the years and to the support of the late Chester Reiten, a North Dakota broadcasting pioneer and politician who founded the Hostfest in 1978. It is now in its 37th year and annually draws about 60,000 people from around the world for food, music and other entertainment. It’s billed as the largest Scandinavian festival in North America. This year’s event started Tuesday and ends Saturday.

The Accordion Club began performing at the Hostfest in 1989. It added dancers six years later.

“We can both play the accordion, but we would rather dance,” Gloria Gunderson said of herself and her dancing partner, Ivan Vandeberg. “The music is what keeps up going. We can dance and dance just because the music is so good.”

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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