So one of the best parts of urban living is that the parades and celebrations come to you.
As most of you know, Karin and I have been living in Ballard for this past year, renting a condo at Canal Station, just half a block from Market and Leary…the heart of old Ballard. In addition to the amazing collection of restaurants, shops, bars, nightclubs, Ballard has history. It was a city before being annexed by Seattle more than 100 years ago. Locals have bumper stickers that say “Free Ballard”. When I was growing up it was always the center all things Scandahoovian in Seattle. This is where the fishing fleet was based, and they were very Scandinavian.
The neighborhood is changing. Prices are going up driving out working class families. But there is still a lingering soul in Ballard that places such as Freemont are quickly losing. Which brings us to Syttende Mai, or The Seventeenth of May in Norwegian.
The 17th of May is Constitution Day in Norway, sort of like the Fourth of July here.
And if you are Norwegian, this is your day. Even if you don’t live here…you come to Ballard for the parade.
The world’s largest Syttende Mai parade, as you would expect, is in Oslo. Bergen, Norway is in second place. And that means Ballard’s 100+ parade entries – with 2,000 people total marching and another 10,000 watching – makes it the third largest in the world.
Karin and I came back from a visit today with Mom and BD, and got our Norwegian on….Uff Da!
But this is Seattle, and you Just don’t have a parade here without the Seafair Clowns.
Oh, and happy Syttende Mai!