One of Ballard’s biggest celebrations, Syttende Mai, is coming up next weekend and it is set to be full of fun and festivities! This year’s celebrations will be extra special as 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of Norway’s constitution, which is celebrated on Syttende Mai, or May 17th. 2014 also marks the 125th anniversary […]
Local resident Molly McLachlan has designed a special t-shirt for this year’s Syttende Mai festival in tribute to her family’s Nordic roots. “Ballard has always been a part of my life and the Norwegian Independence Day parade has been a tradition in my family for many years,” says MacLachlan. MacLachlan has been involved in the […]
The 2014 Syttende Mai pins are now available at the Chamber and at Secret Garden Bookshop (2214 NW Market Street). This year is the 200th anniversary of Norway’s Constitution Day, in addition to the 125th Anniversary of the local parade in Ballard. The pins cost $5 and all funds raised help offset the cost of the 17th of May activities. If you […]
It’s a big day in Ballard, and Norwegian pride will be running strong with activities all day long, culminating in the annual Syttende Mai (17th of May) parade through the heart of Ballard from 6 to 8 p.m. And, some trivia for you: the Syttende Mai celebrations have been taking place in our state since the year […]
As we mentioned in our previous post, the judges at the Syttende Mai parade had the best seat in the house. They also had the toughest job – to pick winners in each category. Here is the list of winners: Band 1st Columbia River High School, Vancouver, WA 2nd Chief Sealth High School Marching Band […]
Syttende Mai isn’t just about the parade, although that is the largest event, drawing thousands of people to downtown Ballard. The Norwegian Constitution Day celebration started earlier at the Nordic Heritage Museum where three Norwegian Fjord Horses were posing for pictures and getting a lot of attention. The Fjord Horses are a breed that was […]
The annual Syttende Mai, or 17th of May, celebration is tomorrow in Ballard. The parade is the “main event” from 6 to 8 p.m. and thousands of people are expected to crowd the sidewalks – and Mother Nature may cooperate (forecast here.) Signs are up letting drivers know that parking will be restricted along the […]
Ballard’s largest Norwegian celebration is one week away. The 17th of May, or Syttende Mai, festivities run all day next Tuesday, culminating with the parade in the evening. Rumor has it that this is the largest Norwegian Constitution Day outside of Norway. Here is the schedule of events: Luncheon 12-2 PM Leif Erikson Lodge 206-783-1274 […]
The annual Syttende Mai celebration is about one month away and organizers say they’re being hit hard financially. The cost for the day-long celebration is going up $5,000 this year. “We need the community to rally around and help us,” Laila Sharpe says at a small table in the Café Stua at the Leif Erikson […]
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) […]
MyBallard cameras will be there to capture all the excitement of the Syttende Mai (17th of May) festivities today. Here’s a rundown of all the events around Ballard on this Norwegian Constitution Day: 10am to 5pm: Nordic Heritage Museum. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to make Norwegian crafts. Noon to 2pm: Luncheon: Leif […]
Beautiful costumes, a restored Viking ship, marching bands and Norwegian Fjord horses were among the attractions at this year’s 17th of May parade in Ballard. Thousands of people enjoyed the historic festivities in perfect weather.
Of course, the traditional Norwegian costumes, called bunads, are always a crowd favorite. We talked with one couple who are longtime parade marchers. While they were warm in their wool sweaters today, it wasn’t as hot as last year when the mercury hit 88 degrees. “We’ll suffer for the 17th of May,” they exclaimed. “We’ll do anything for the 17th of May!” Syttende Mai celebrates the day in 1814 when Norway’s constitution was signed.
And the kids, as always, were adorable.
After the parade, we talked to Heidi Larsen who walked with her 11-week-old, Elsa. Heidi has been in the parade since she was Elsa’s age, and she says that marching today is important to “celebrate our heritage and introduce her to it.”
The Nordic Heritage Museum unveiled the Nordic Spirit, the newly-restored 200-year-old replica of a Viking ship. The ship had been sitting in storage until the museum and Pacific Fishermen Shipyard carefully restored the vessel. The Nordic Spirit will also participate in the Alaskan Yukon Pacific Exposition this summer, and it will be put on display at the Nordic Heritage Museum.
Several thousand people lined Market St. and 24th Ave. to watch the hour and a half celebration. Over 100 groups participated in the parade, but the Ballard High School band did not participate this year. According to one of the organizers, they’re at Disneyland playing in a parade down there.
But a big crowd favorite was the Hellvik Mannskor mens choir, which had flown in from Norway. As they marched, many spectators joined in song. This year’s Grand Marshal was Norwegian Ambassador Wegger Christian Strommen (who was seen snacking at Olsen’s Scandinavian Foods after the parade.)
Besides chasing all the candy, the kids loved to watch the Norwegian Fjord Horses. One of the oldest breeds on earth, the horses were on display earlier today at the Nordic Heritage Museum.
And Norwegians can’t have all the fun. The Swedish Pancake Drill Team entertained the crowd with all sorts of patented pancake moves, including the toss, which frequently landed on the pavement. Click through below for a few more photos, and we’ve posted a ton more on My Ballard’s Facebook page here. Plus, My Ballard reader Nina posted her photos here.