Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House, May 14, Seattle waterfront; Syttende Mai 17th of May Norway Constitution Festival parade and events, May 17, Ballard, Seattle.
Step into Seattle history and heritage at the Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House showcasing the working waterfront on Saturday, May 14, and Syttende Mai 17th of May Festival celebrating Norway Constitution Day and Ballard’s Scandinavian heritage on Tuesday.
The Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House offers tours of working vessels scheduled to include the Canadian navy’s Glendyne, King County Research Vessel Liberty, Seattle Harbor Patrol and Seattle Sea Scouts Propeller, among other vessels on display at Pier 66. Free boat tours of the waterfront cast off at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., with tickets available half an hour before each departure on a space-available basis at the Port of Seattle information booth.
Chowder is the perfect fuel for a day in the fresh, salty sea air and everyone’s invited to vote for their favorite in the Chowder Cook-Off with tastes from Ivar’s, Edgewater Hotel Six Seven Restaurant, Anthony’s at Pier 66, Elliott’s Oyster House and others for a $5 pass; proceeds to benefit Seattle Propeller Club charities. There are craft activities and wooden boat building for kids, survival-suit racing time trials, maritime and military boat displays, all free, at Pier 66 and the surrounding waterfront.
Seattle Maritime Festival Harbor Open House
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14
Location: Pier 66, Bell Street and Alaskan Way, Seattle
17th of May Festival Syttende Mai
Nordic Heritage Museum: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle, free admission; Barneleker children’s events, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free shuttle from the museum to central Ballard, noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday
Entertainment: 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Bergen Place, 5420 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle
More info: 17thofmay.org
Tuesday is Ballard’s annual big celebration of Syttende Mai [Soot-n-duh My] 17th of May Festival for Norway Constitution Day.
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Before it was today’s sophisticated, high-density urban neighborhood with a lively bar, brewery and restaurant scene, Ballard was the center of Seattle’s Scandinavian community, a heritage it still proudly proclaims. Syttende Mai has been celebrated in the neighborhood since 1889, and the annual event is one of the largest 17th of May celebrations outside of Norway.
The evening parade draws a crowd of thousands to watch 100 entries including marching bands, Norwegian-American groups, drill teams, classic cars and more. It winds through the heart of Ballard with lots of Norwegian flags and many people in bunad, traditional Norwegian clothing.
Other Syttende Mai events include free admission all day at the Nordic Heritage Museum, with Barneleker craft activities for kids and open-faced sandwiches available at the Nordic Cafe, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a free shuttle to Market Street festival activities from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Before the parade, get in the spirit with Nordic-themed entertainment including accordion players, Norwegian Male Chorus and Ladies Chorus, Scandinavian folk dance and more, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bergen Place in Ballard’s business district.