Seattle 17th of May Festival, Sunday May 17.
Party like a Norwegian at Syttende Mai, the 17th of May Festival, Norway’s Constitution Day and Ballard’s celebration of its Scandinavian heritage Sunday.
Festivities start with entertainment at Bergen Place and activities at the Nordic Heritage Museum at 10 a.m. leading up to the day’s big event, the Syttende Mai parade, with Norwegian groups wearing bunader (Norwegian folk costumes), marching bands, drill teams and community groups winding their way through Ballard.
Syttende Mai has been a popular tradition in Ballard since 1974 (and in Seattle since 1889) and draws even larger crowds when May 17 falls on a weekend. This year there’s an added announcing stand at 24th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 60th Street, along with the announcing/judging stand describing parade events on Market Street.
17th of May/Syttende Mai
Bergen Place: Entertainment 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, May 17, 5420 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle.
Nordic Heritage Museum: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle.
Parade: 4 p.m. Sunday, 24th Avenue Northwest from Northwest 62nd Street to Market Street, to 22nd Avenue Northwest, on Ballard Avenue, ending at Dock Street, Seattle.
Time: noon-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, May 15-17; parade 2 p.m. Saturday
Location: Waterfront Park and downtown Poulsbo
More info: vikingfest.org.
Nordic Heritage Museum, the only museum in the United States dedicated to the legacy of immigrants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, hosts Syttende Mai craft activities for kids, Nordic Cafe food and beverages, and free admission, with a new feature this year: shuttle service between the museum and downtown Ballard from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Bergen Place in downtown Ballard, named for Seattle sister city Bergen, Norway, hosts music with a Nordic flair from 10 a.m. until parade time.
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Immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland were the largest ethic group in this area in the early 1900s, drawn in part by a local landscape that reminded them of home.
Across Puget Sound, Poulsbo, nicknamed “Little Norway,” celebrates its Scandinavian heritage with the Viking Days festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 15 to 17, also honoring the Suquamish People who’ve lived in the area for thousands of years. Festivities include entertainment, food and craft vendors, a carnival, Viking Village, Suquamish arts and crafts, Saturday parade and Sunday Stand Up Paddle Board races.