Syttende Mai at Vesterheim May 17

Vesterheim invites everyone to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day May 17.

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

Vesterheim’s celebration includes free admission all day with a Children’s Parade throughout Vesterheim Heritage Park, a performance by Decorah’s Nordic Dancers, hands-on crafts, live music with fiddler Erik Sessions, ice cream, and more. The concert with Erik Sessions will be live streamed on Vesterheim’s YouTube channel.

10:30 am: Guided tours of the historic buildings in Heritage Park.

11:30 am-12:30 pm: Hands-on craft making in the lobby of the Museum Building.

12:40 pm: Storytelling inspired by Norwegian themes with Marcia Fox in the Museum Building.

12:00-1:00 pm: Performance with fiddler Erik Sessions in Vesterheim Commons and live streamed on Vesterheim YouTube. Join in person or join the live stream. Erik Sessions has played the violin and fiddle for 45 years. He is known throughout the area for his skill and talent playing solo and with several dance bands.

1:00 pm: Children’s Parade throughout Vesterheim Heritage Park. Norwegian flags will be given out, and everyone is invited to march along.

1:15 pm: Free ice cream treats from Decorah’s Sugar Bowl.

1:30 pm: Decorah’s Nordic Dancers on Mill St. next to the Museum Building (after a brief welcome from Vesterheim President/CEO Chris Johnson)  The Nordic Dancers began in Decorah in 1966 and include a senior and junior group of dancers. The dancers begin as third graders and make a 10-year commitment to continue through high school. This year marks the junior group’s first time performing.

2:30 pm: Guided tours of the historic buildings in Heritage Park

In case of inclement weather, the parade and Nordic Dancers will be cancelled. All other activities will continue as planned.

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