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Shane Harms/ Ballard News-Tribune

Syttende Mai Parade attracts thousands to Ballard, some from Norway

Thousands of people thronged the streets of Ballard yesterday for the annual 17th of May (Syttende Mai) parade.

People dresses in customary bunaders danced to traditional Scandinavian songs and spectators speaking Norwegian could be heard amid the crowd. Norwegian flags were flown by many of the parade attendees, some of which traveled from Norway for the celebration. Among the assemblage was the Norwegian Parliamentary Leader, Trond Helleland, and Norway’s Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland.

According to parade volunteers, there were close to 80 entrees for the parade this year, which was a slight dip compared to last year with numbers closer to 100.

There was also a thinner crowd compared to last year, which volunteers attributed to the parade being on a weekday rather than over the weekend.

Still, there was a good turnout with a heavy showing of people on N.W. Market, especially at the 22nd Avenue N.W. intersection. Even Ballard’s Fire Department (Seattle Fire Department Station 18) joined the crowd at the intersection where firefighters watched the parade perched on top of a fire engine.

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