Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge ready to host Norwegian Day Parade

May 8, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Marchers make their way up Third Avenue in last year’s parade. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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One of Bay Ridge’s longstanding traditions is once again on its way.

The 63rd Annual 17th of May Parade, also known as the Norwegian Day Parade, will take place on Sunday, May 17, on Third Avenue, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Norwegian-American 17th of May Committee of Greater New York, the parade commemorates the anniversary of the signing of Norway’s Constitution in 1814.

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The theme for the 2015 parade is “Celebrating 1,000 Years of Christianity.”

The parade participants will step off from the starting point on Third Avenue and 81st Street and proceed north along Third Avenue to Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and then make a right turn to and march up 69th Street to Fifth Avenue. At Fifth Avenue, the marchers will make a left turn and march to 67th Street, make a right turn, and march up 67th Street to the grandstand, located on the south side of Leif Erikson Park between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

Following the parade, a program will take place at the grandstand in Leif Ericson Park featuring guest speaker Jon Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium.

By tradition, the big march takes place in the Sunday closest to Norwegian Constitution Day, May 17. This year, the parade is happening on May 17, adding to the excitement of the event.

The parade committee is hard at work to ensure a successful event, according to organizers.

“We have a wonderful committee who work all year long preparing for parade day while they continue to plan for the future. The community joins together to watch us celebrate Constitution Day. It is a day when everyone can ‘be Norwegian.’ Come and join us for parade day and the many activities and events we celebrate throughout the year,” Parade General Chairman Barbara Berntsen wrote in a statement on the committee’s website.

A highlight of the parade is expected to be the appearance by Miss Norway of Greater New York 2015, Lauren Benson, who will ride the parade route in an open air convertible.

Benson, 21, a junior at Rutgers University, wowed the judges with her beauty and poise as well as her charitable endeavors at the contest, which took place at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center on March 28.

Sponsored by the Norwegian Immigration Association, the Miss Norway contest celebrated its 60th Anniversary this year. The contest is designed to highlight the beauty, accomplishments and Norwegian heritage of young women, organizers said. Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 with Norwegian ancestry are eligible.

The contest served as the start of a celebratory season for Brooklyn’s Norwegian-American community, a season that culminates in the parade.

As part of the pre-parade festivities, the Church Group of the 17th of May Committee scheduled a Church Rally on May 2 at the Norwegian Christian Home at 1250 67th St.

On Saturday, May 16, the day before the parade, the Scandinavian East Coast Museum is sponsoring Viking Fest, an outdoor cultural and culinary festival celebrating all Scandinavian countries. The festival will take place in Owl’s Head Park on Colonial Road and 68th Street in Bay Ridge from10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In previous years, the festival has featured a replica of a Viking ship.

The next day, May 17, it’s parade day.

For more information on the parade visit the committee’s website at



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