The weather was just about perfect for Ballard’s day-long party to celebrate Syttende Mai (17th of May) festivities. Crowds packed downtown Ballard in honor of Norwegian Constitution Day.
While some of the early festivities took place inside, people looking for some sun gathered at Bergen Place to take in live entertainment. One of the favorite groups (below) was Leikarringen of Leif Erikson Lodge #1, with members treating the crowd to some traditional dancing.
People staked out their place along the parade route early, with street vendors keeping the kids entertained.
Some very colorful entries in this year’s parade included giant puppets and troll masks (below) based on Norse mythology. Students from Loyal Heights Elementary worked on them for the past several months as part of the school’s artist-in-residence program.
The Ballard High School Band (below) was one of several marching bands in the parade this year. One of the favorite entries once again this year was the Nordic Spirit from the Nordic Heritage Museum.
This was also a very special day for 8 year old Owain Weinert (below). The third grader at Loyal Heights Elementary was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year. In honor of his courage and fighting spirit, Owain got to ride in the parade today along with his principal.
“Everyone at the school involved with his education has been supportive through this entire thing,” said Owain’s mother Heather. “It has helped us through some pretty tough days.”
The good news is that Owain is cancer free right now and is still undergoing treatment. His dad created a website so Owain could communicate with friends and blog about his experience.
Congratulations to Owain and all the other people who helped make this such a great day in Ballard.