Norwegian Americans to join in Syttende Mai Parade May 21

Suburban Norwegian Americans previewed Syttende Mai, Norway Constitution Day, on Sunday, May 7.

Barb Johnson of Yorkville, culture director for Sons of Norway Polar Star Lodge 5-472, chronicled the holiday in a presentation at Polar Star's May meeting at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery.

Johnson said the Chicago-based Norwegian National League will host festivities May 20-21 in Park Ridge.

An annual luncheon will be held Saturday, May 20, at 11:30 a.m. at Park Ridge Country Club, 636 N. Prospect Ave.

Guests will be Heidi Olufsen, Norwegian consul general, New York City; and Susan Meyer, Norwegian honorary consul, Chicago.

On Sunday, May 21, an annual parade will step off at noon from Talcott Road and Cumberland Avenue and proceed to the Park Ridge City Hall, 505 Butler Place.

Festivities will continue at Hodges Park, adjacent to city hall, with vendors, music, children's activities, a dance group and scholarship presentations.

Syttende Mai takes place annually on the weekend closest to Norway's Constitution Day, celebrated in Norway and by Norwegians worldwide on May 17.

The constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark - Norway's devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

To learn more about the Norwegian National League, which unites all Norwegian American organizations in the Chicago area, visit

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