Syttende Mai in Ballard

by Andrea on May 17, 2011

Today is Syttende Mai (or May 17th), Norway’s Constitution Day.  Not being Norwegian, I don’t know much about the history of the day.  However, I grew up in Ballard, WA which is about 99% Norwegian.  For me, May 17th meant that I got to see a great small town parade in my own neighborhood.

A little known fact about me: I LOVE parades!

As a kid, I loved going to this parade rain or shine.  The Norwegian neighbors would wear their cute traditional clothes, marching bands would play Louie Louie, the drill teams with pom poms on their boots would stomp around, and the Seafair Pirates would scare us and shower us in candy.  Pretty much, this parade was a child’s dream.

I hadn’t been for several years, but two years ago, the parade was on the weekend and it was a glorious sunny Seattle day.  I dragged Brian and my parents with me, scored some prime seats, and enjoyed the show.  As an adult, I still loved it.  It is like I remember it, with the addition of an awesome unicycle team made up of elementary school kids and the Swedish Pancake drill team.

If you are ever in Seattle, or near Seattle on May 17th, I strongly encourage you to swing over to Ballard for this great tradition!  They won’t even make you eat lutefisk.

images via My Ballard





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