Break out the lutefisk and rømmergrøt, it’s Syttende Mai! May 17 is Norwegian Constitution Day, and Ballard will be celebrating all day with Norwegian fare, music, and a big parade through downtown Ballard.
Ifyou’ve ever been to a Syttende Mai parade in Ballard, you know just how hectic it gets; about 5,000 spectators are expected, which means driving could be a nightmare tonight. Various streets around Ballard will be closed today, including the streets surrounding Adams Elementary (26th Ave NW and NW 62nd St.) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. during the parade staging. 22nd Ave NW will be closed until 8 p.m. tonight.
The parade starts at 6 p.m., and the route goes south on 24th Ave NW from NW 62nd St. to NW Market St, east on Market to 22nd Avenue NW, and then turns right to go south on 22nd to Ballard Avenue NW. The parade disperses north and south on Ballard Avenue NW.
Here is the event schedule for today’s celebrations:
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Kids games at Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 68th St). Free admission to the NHM all day; Nordic Cafe will be selling Scandinavian treats, and fjord horses will be on site.
Noon – 2 p.m.: Luncheon at Leif Erikson Hall (2245 NW 57th St.) Tickets $30, call (206) 783-1274
2 – 5 p.m.: On-going live, free entertainment at Bergen Place Park:
- 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
3 – 5 p.m.: Open House and Cafe at Leif Erickson Hall. Food, beverages, wine and beer available for purchase. Local Scandinavian organizations will have promotional material about their groups.
6 – 8 p.m: Parade – starts at NW 62nd and 24th Ave NW, goes south to Market Street, east to Bergen Place Park, turns down 22nd Ave NW and continues south on Ballard Ave NW to Dock Street. This year’s emcees are local radio personalities Tim Hunter and MJ McDermott.
Map courtesy 17th of May website. Click map to go to parade website