Syttende Mai is the day Norway ratified its constitution in 1814 at Eidsvoll.
Now, Norwegians celebrate their constitution with excited crowds, especially children, marching through the streets waving flags, singing songs, and celebrating their nation’s independence. Syttende Mai is a great opportunity to celebrate freedom wherever it occurs.
Vesterheim events on May 17 usually include:
- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Museum open with free admission.
- Guided tours of museum’s Main Building.
- Guided tours of museum’s Open Air Division.
- 12:30-1:00 p.m. Gather for Children’s Parade, at the Winneshiek County Courthouse, on Main Street.
- 1:00 p.m. Children’s Parade through Decorah. The route starts on Main Street at the Winneshiek County Courthouse, then travels north along Washington Street to Water Street, then west on Water Street to Mill Street. Everyone is invited to march along, or cheer from the sidewalks. Norwegian flags will be provided for everyone marching.
- 1:20-2:00 p.m. Vesterheim welcome and Decorah’s Nordic Dancers perform on Mill St. at the museum.
In the case of inclement weather, the parade and Nordic Dancers will be canceled, and Eden Ehm will offer an informal performance of Hardanger fiddle music.
Thank you to event sponsors Jeff and Marilyn Roverud and Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge #503!
Find an album of pictures from the 2016 celebration here.