Syttende Mai Parade

Hip hip hurra!

I finally made it back for the annual parade in Brooklyn to celebrate Norway’s May 17 Independence Day. The parade is always held on the Sunday closest to the “17th of Mai” and this time I finally had a free weekend to get there. I’ve been meaning to get back for years, but I always seem to have a conflict. In fact, this past weekend Shawn had a theatre commitment so wasn’t able to make the trip, but my mom was interested, so she and I drove down.

The weather wasn’t great, which added to the sparse crowd which the parade has been known for over the past ten years or so. In my youth, the parade was a huge event and would be two-to-three people deep on the sidewalks. When I was about eight or nine years old, Liv Ullmann was the Grand Marshall, so it used to be a really big deal. But as the Norwegian-American community slowly moved away and the neighborhood became more diverse, the crowds stopped coming.

The parade organizers still keep the tradition going by marching in Bay Ridge, and there are still many organizations who travel from different states to march in the parade, as well as quite a few Norwegian-Americans who still travel to watch the parade. It seems to be hanging on by a thread, though, so here’s to positive vibes for keeping it around for as long as possible.

My photos were on Flickr, but got zapped.

Once I salvage the few photos I can from my Flickr malfunction, I’ll repost. Lars has also sent along photos that I’ll post as well.

I also took a short video of my Dad’s drum corps, the Bay Ridge Ridgemen. There were only a few alumni marching, and no snare drums. Luckily, I managed to not zap this clip.


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