Kira Brady

May 18
Syttende Mai: Parading our Norse around in Ballard

Happy Norwegian Constitution Day! We celebrate May 17th in Ballard with (what is rumored to be) the largest Syttende Mai parade outside of Norway, because we like to pretend we’re still a fiercely independent city of Viking descendants. At right is a picture of our local independent bookstore’s Syttende Mai display. Other major festivals are Viking Days in the summer, and Tivoli and Yule Fest at the Nordic Heritage Museum. It doesn’t matter if your Norwegian ancestors hated your neighbor’s Swedish ones; we’re all one big happy Norse family in Ballard. May 17th for Ballardites is like March 17th for Americans–everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day! On Syttende Mai, you too can eat pickled herring, aebleskiver, and rye bread and pretend you traveled here by dragon boat.

Or you could read the Deadglass Trilogy where the Ballardites are really immortal Viking dragon shifters and their Norse human followers. It’s like a freaky alternate reality where all the jokes are real!

Edited to add: Click here for scenes from this year’s parade on MyBallard. I need to get my kiddo one of those traditional dresses for next year. So cute!

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