Despite dramatic changes in Ballard over the past several years, the neighborhood retains its strong Scandinavian identity, which is no better demonstrated than at the annual Syttende Mai (17th of May in Norwegian) parade, a celebration of the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814.
Ballard has been holding its celebration of Norwegian independence for 150 years, and these days the parade, which begins near 24th Ave NW and NW 60th and makes its way through Bergen Place park and down Ballard Avenue through Old Ballard, draws as many as 20,000 spectators. You’ll see drill teams, marching bands, community groups and plenty of Norwegian musical groups such as the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Though the parade is the grand finale of the event, Ballard will be celebrating all day long with music, food, kids activities, and much more! Here’s a sampling of other events happening throughout the day:
10:00 a.m. – Opening festivities with Mayor Ed Murray at Bergen Place
10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m. – Barneleker (Children’s Events) at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Bring your kids for free craft projects and a chance to pet fjord horses!
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Enjoy free admission to the Nordic Heritage Museum all day long and sample Scandinavian food and drinks in the Nordic Cafe.
3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Cafe at Leif Erikson Lodge. Food, beverages, wine/beer, programs, flags, DVDs for purchase. Enjoy traditional Norwegian music from the Winter Band and connect with local Scandinavian organizations.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Parade! See the route here.
There will also be music all day long at the Bergen Place stage, see a full lineup and schedule here!