Celebrate Syttende Mai with Vesterheim

Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, invites all to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day, on May 17, with activities on campus in Decorah and a live-stream fiddle concert online. Admission is free all day, and the museum and store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Syttende Mai is the day Norway ratified its constitution in 1814 at Eidsvoll, and Norwegians celebrate it with excited crowds – especially children – in the streets, waving flags and singing songs. 

In the museum building, there will be hands-on craft making in the lobby from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and storytelling with Marcia Fox, inspired by Norwegian themes at 12:40 p.m. 

In Vesterheim Commons, fiddler Erik Sessions will play from 12-1 p.m. This performance will by live streamed on Vesterheim YouTube. Join in person or at youtube.com/vesterheimmuseum. 

Outside in the museum campus, the Children’s Parade throughout Vesterheim Heritage Park will begin at 1 p.m., free ice cream treats from Sugar Bowl will be served at 1:15 p.m., and Decorah’s Nordic Dancers will perform after a brief welcome from Vesterheim President/CEO Chris Johnson at 1:30 p.m. Norwegian flags will be given out at the parade, and all are welcome to march along. 

There will also be guided tours of the historic buildings in Heritage Park at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  

In case of inclement weather, the parade and Nordic Dancers will be canceled. All other activities will continue as planned. For more information, visit vesterheim.org or call 563-382-9681.

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