Syttende Mai is just a few weeks away. If you’re in the Ballard area of Seattle, there will be no avoiding the barrage of Norwegians pouring into the streets for the big parade, “one of the largest ethnic parades in the United States,” according to parade committee. Being of Norwegian descent, the Syttende Mai–or Norwegian Constitution Day–parade was one of the first and most frequent cultural experiences of my youth. Grandma and Grandpa D., who moved here from Norway in the 1950s, always liked to go, and my family would take me, as a very, very little girl, dressed in a children’s bunad.
One of my most distinct memories from the parade is drinking a Solo–a Norwegian orange soda–and eating a pølse wrapped in lefse. What a treat! Sure, it may appear to translate to the American equivalent of a hot dog and any brand of orange soda, but it’s truly special.
Sadly to say I’m not able to attend this year’s parade, but if you’re in the Seattle area, check it out!