Syttende Mai


Although much of my ethnic background is Norwegian, I must confess that I am fairly ignorant about the customs and culture of my psuedo-native land. So, when M invited me to a parade in our highly Scandinavian neighborhood on the 17th of May, I figured it was just one of those wacky Seattle things. It turns out that the 17th of May is sort of a Norwegian version of Cinco de Mayo and is apparently kind of a big deal.

We walked down to the parade route and were shocked to see tons of people lining the streets:

I must confess that after being traumatized by junior high marching band that I’m not a big fan of parades. There’s usually a lot of standing around to watch random crap, but Ballard kicks the people watching up a notch. (Plus, M & I always enjoy a healthy dose of snark with our people watching… ) We were in a spot looking into the sun, so my pics weren’t too great. Luckily, M backed me up with her mad photo skillz. So, without further ado, I give you my favorite moments of the 2011 Syttende Mai Parade:

This kid is rad:

We saw a surprising number of antique strollers, but only one mom was smart enough to put a modern car seat in hers, so we didn’t have to worry for the safety of the baby’s spinal cord in the bouncy old-fashioned stroller:

This marching band was playing Quiet Riot’s “Cum on Feel the Noize” (although I’m sure their sheet music was the radio-friendly spelling of the song title… ) which was super awesome, but made me feel very old. (That song was popular when I was in marching band. In 8th grade… )

Other marching band gems included “The Final Countdown,” “You Can Call Me Al” and “Beat it” (which I also played in junior high band!) Now I feel ancient, especially since the junior high kids look like babies…

We were also treated to the dorky stylings of the Ballard High School robotics club:

The animals of the parade were just as awesome. There was a Swiss Mountain Dog that was happily eating candy off the ground while his poor oblivious owner waved at the crowd. She’s going to be so surprised by the terrible diarrhea from her surprisingly hyper dog…

There was also a younger Smokey Joe look-a-like with this adorable Newfie:

There were also a special (unknown) breed of horse that they were leading vs. riding and the worst job in the parade:

There were even some floats. This one had a fire-breathing dragon and a Norwegian spitting fish:

In the spirit of multi-cultural inclusion, we got to see the Scottish highland team (complete with bagpipes):

We were also treated to the comic stylings of the Swedish pancake flipping team, who actually flipped a pancake from frying pan to frying pan:

And a person dressed as a pancake being chased by a person dressed as a frying pan (not pictured)

But the biggest surprise of the parade was the unbelievable number of middle school children on unicycles. There were no less than five different groups of them, but this one was the most impressive…

And our final photo from the parade was the hippie school with their hula hoops and streamers. (Not to mention sandals with socks… ) M & I spied a young boy in an orange shirt in the front row that we think is T of the future (Love you, honey!)

Happy Syttende Mai, everyone!

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