Moved this year from 5th Avenue to 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, the parade will muster at 12:30 PM at 85th Street and 3rd Avenue, rain or shine, and step off at 1:30 PM, marching north along 3rd Avenue to 69th Street. The parade will then turn right, moving up 69th Street to 5th Avenue, then turn left onto 67th Street and pass the reviewing stand on the south side of Leif Erikson Park between 6th and 7th Avenues.
The theme of the 2012 parade is “Honoring Norwegian Women”.
Norway leads the world in promoting equal and non-traditional employment for women. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister and Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), exemplifies the self-assurance of Norwegian women.
That self-assurance is seen in this year's "Miss Norway" runner-up Erika Lawson of Bay Ridge, an engineer and the first woman to serve as Shipman at Kings Point Military Academy.
Marathoner Grete Waitz, another remarkable Norwegian woman, lost her long battle with cancer last spring. Her career as an elite athlete, and her efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research and treatment, are the special focus of this year's Norwegian Day parade.
At the reviewing stand, there will be a performance by the Mummers and a short program featuring guest speaker Helle Aanesen, CEO of Active Against Cancer, an organization Grete Weitz co-founded, and greetings from local elected representatives.
In the parade and performing at the grandstand afterward will be Philadelphia musicians The Woodland String Band. Also marching and performing will be Norwegian band Mandal Musikkforening and a variety of local bands.
The parade, an annual homecoming in Bay Ridge for Norwegian-Americans who grew up in Brooklyn, is expected to draw an estimated 100,000 spectators.
Seventeenth of May Church Rally
As part of the pre-parade festivities, the Church Group of the 17th of May Committee will host its annual 17th of May Church Rally on Saturday, May 5th at 6:30 PM at the Norwegian Christian Home, at 1270 67th Street. The event will feature guest speaker Pastor Thor Foss and musical selections from the Nansen Chorus. Afterward, an offering will be received and refreshments served.
For more information on the parade, program and rally, contact Evald Olson at (718) 745-6653 or visit the parade website.
Annual Coloring Contest
The 17th of May Committee will also sponsor a coloring contest for children with the theme ‘Honoring Norwegian Women.” Children are asked to use crayons, pencils and/or markers to color the pictures available for download from the committee’s website. Completed pictures are due by Monday, May 7.
The contest is open to children of all ages, who will be judged with others in their age group. Each entry must include the following information on the back: child’s name, age and phone contact.
Send your child's entry to the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, 440 Ovington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209 or c/o Nordic Delicacies, 6909 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209.
Winners will be notified by phone. Prizes will be awarded at Viking Fest 2012 on May 19th at Owl’s Head Park, 68th Street and Narrows Avenue, Bay Ridge.
For more information, contact Victoria Hofmo at 718-748-5950.