File photo, Anne-Marije Rook
The "Deadliest Sweep" crab car was in the 2011 annual Syttende Mai parade. Will it make a return?

Celebrate Norway in Ballard with Syttende Mai Parade on May 17

The most important day in Ballard is almost upon us. Syttendae Mai (17th of May), otherwise known as Grunnlovsdagen (Constitution Day) -- the day that Norway signed their Constitution and took its first step toward freedom from Swedish rule.

In Ballard, 1901 (four years before independence), celebration of the day started with a children's parade from a church to Salmon Bay Park, with entertainment and speeches by Mayor Johnson, Pastor Syrdal, and Colonel Alden J. Blethen. The evening ended with the singing of "Ja vi elsker dette landet," now Norway’s national anthem. Syttende Mai didn't become the extremely popular neighborhood festival that we know it as today until 1974.

On Friday, May 17, Ballardites and people from all over will celebrate the day once again, and with just as much passion and fervor. Throughout the day, their are several festivities, including a luncheon at the Leif Erickson Lodge, free admission and activities at the Nordic Heritage Museum and entertainment at Bergen Place Park.

It will end with the big parade at 6 p.m., which features Norwegian organizations, children, marching bands, drill teams, community groups and more. The parade begins at the corner of NW 62nd and 24th Avenue NW, goes south to Market St and eastward to Bergen Place park, then turns right onto 22nd and continues south down Ballard Ave and ends at Dock St.

Schedule of Events

12-2 PM
Leif Erikson Lodge
Admission: $30 per person
Tickets available at Leif Erikson Lodge.
Join us for a traditional Norwegian lunch with our Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshals! Special guest entertainment!
Address: 2245 NW 57th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-783-1274

Barneleker (Children's activities)
10AM - 2PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Pet the fjord horses!
Children can enjoy easy craft projects at the Nordic Heritage Museum. The crafts are free and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707

Nordic Café
10AM – 2PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Free Museum admission all day! Enjoy Scandinavian food and beverages available for purchase.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707

Copper Gate
3PM - 7PM
Syttende Mai Party
No cover. Discounts on aquavit and Nordic specialty food.
Address: 6301 24th Ave NW
Phone: (206) 706-3292

Entertainment at Bergen Place
2-5 PM
Intersection of Market St., Leary Ave., and 22nd Ave.
On parade day, there are public performances at Bergen Place featuring a number of acts with Nordic flair!

2:00—Adams Elementary School Choir
2:30—Klem og Kram, featuring accordion and vocal works
3:00—Matt Jorgensen of Ballard Jazz Festival, featuring jazz
3:30—Norwegian Male Chorus, with piano or a capella
4:00—Leikarringen of Leif Erikson Lodge #1, featuring
song, music and dance
4:30—Bonnie Birch, featuring accordion

Café at Leif Erikson Lodge
3-5 PM
2245 NW 57th St. Food, beverages, wine/beer, pins, programs, flags, and DVDs available for purchase. Local Scandinavian organizations will have promotional material about their groups available.
Leif Erikson Lodge
Join us at Leif Erikson Lodge before the parade for Nordic food, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, which are available for purchase.
Phone: 206-789-5707

17th of May Parade
6-8 PM
Come early to save your spot! This year's emcees are local radio personalities Tim Hunter and MJ McDermott.
Click here for Parade Participant Forms!

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