No activities for 17th of May Festival but local Norwegians remain "Nordic strong"

Monday, May 18, 2020

2018 photo by Lene Ellingsen Carpp

Syttende Mai or 17th of May is Constitution Day in Norway. The Constitution of Norway was passed unanimously by the Eidsvoll Assembly on 16 May 1814 and signed the next day.

2016 Siblings Evelyn Hansen Baker, Stan Hansen, Jan Hansen
from Richmond Beach

With a very large population of Norwegians in Ballard and Richmond Beach, it is a very big event in normal years from pancake breakfasts at the Sons of Norway lodge in Edmonds to a huge parade in Ballard.  

In 2015 Norway’s King Harald V celebrated Syttende Mai in Ballard as the first stop on his U.S. visit.

2012 Photo by Wayne Pridemore

According to Visit Norway

"The day is also an opportunity for men and women to show off their “bunad”, Norway’s traditional costumes. There are hundreds of different ones, with colours and styles indicating where in Norway the owner’s ancestry lies."

2017 Photo by Chip Carpp

COVID-19 changed things this year. The 17th of May committee posted this notice:

After 130 years of celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day in Seattle, we sadly with broken hearts, have had to face the reality of not being able to go forward with preparations for Seattle’s Syttende Mai celebration this year. Based on the guidance of public health authorities, our permits for public gatherings have been suspended.
Our hearts go out to all who are affected by the current world health crisis. While adhering to “sheltering in place” we encourage you to rely on your inner Nordic strength and remain “Nordic Strong” and resourceful with hopes of happier and healthier times in the near future.

2019 Cutest Viking ever! This little one is the granddaughter
of Norwegians in Richmond Beach

In normal years, the parade features many Norwegian organizations with an impressive variety of Norwegian bunader. Children are always a large part of the celebration. Ballard has expanded the event to a community celebration with marching bands, drill teams, and community groups.

2016 Evelyn Hansen Baker, Jan Hansen, Shari Winstead

The Sons of Norway lodge will not be holding their famous pancake breakfast this and local Norwegians will not be able to march in the 17 of May parade in Ballard, but we went into the files to bring you some photos from past years!


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