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HISTORY: "Syttende Mai" - in Norwegian means "the 17th of May". When Norwegians mention the day they are referring to their annual celebration of the signing of the Norwegian constitution on May 17, 1814, in Eidsvoll, Norway.

Individual cities in Norway may have different traditions for their parade. Trondheim has two parades: A morning children's parade (Barnetoget) with children from the city's schools (20,00 children marched in 2014!). An afternoon "Citizens Parade" (Borgertoget) where firefighters, sports teams, students associations and other associations are represented. One of our members marched in this parade for the 200th anniversary of the signing of the constitution in 2014.


Chicago's Syttende Mai events can't possibly be like the magnitude of its counterpart in Oslo, Norway, depicted above with 100,000 people including children from over 100 schools, every year the Norwegian National League hosts a parade at Hodges Park in Park Ridge, Illinois, and a banquet in celebration of Norway's Constitution Day in May.  The parade is normally on the Sunday after Mother's Day.


PRE-PARADE: Begin at 12:00 PM and include activities for children, vendors, and refreshments.

PARADE: As in Norway, anyone who choses to do so can ask to participate in the parade sponsored by the Norwegian National League. The parade itself starts at 1:00PM and lasts about 1 hour with viewers lining the streets often cheering marchers, especially ones where they might have a connection to them.

POST-PARADE: After the parade festivities continue in Hodges Park along with entertainment, awards, speeches, food, information tables and lots of photo opportunities on this fun day. Traditional dancers perform and you get to join at the end in the "grand march".  Students receiving a scholarship or award from the League typically receive them in a ceremony during the post-parade festivities.

BANQUET: The League presents a banquet in celebration of Norway's Constitution Day in May. Often held the day before the Syttende Mai (Constitution Day). The banquet is usually held at a nice venue such as a country club and features a Norwegian themed meal, entertainment and a guest speaker.


The Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Syttende Mai Luncheon

Around the time of the parade and banquet, the chamber usually hosts a Syttende Mai luncheon with a guest speaker.


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