A Viking Fest and Norwegian Parade in Brooklyn

A past Viking Fest (Photo via Brooklyn Reporter)

It’s a weekend of Scandinavian festivities in Bay Ridge. First, it’s the Viking Fest on May 18 followed by the Norwegian Parade the day after. Jaime DeJesus covers both for Brooklyn Reporter.

The Scandinavian East Coast Museum kicks off the celebration of Scanadavian culture with its annual Viking Fest in Owl’s Head Park. In addition to the return of the Viking ship this year, there will be two reenactment groups, The Society for Creative Anachronism and Historic Arms, said SECM President Victoria Hofmo. She noted how the Vikings reflected the New York spirit.

“People are all excited about the Vikings, no matter what their background,” she said. “Once you get people into that, I feel like you can extend the story and talk about their contributions to New York, as a cross-cultural connection to other cultures. The Vikings are a good example of really reaching out and integrating with different people.”

What else is in store for the Viking Fest? A Festooned Facial Hair Contest, a performance component entitled “Touched by the Vikings,” and a traditional Norse ritual performed by the New York City Heathens. Find out more at Brooklyn Reporter.

On Sunday, the annual Norwegian Constitution Parade will take place for the 67th year. The event marks the signing of the Norwegian constitution on May 17, 1893 and is held on the closest Sunday to the date. As grand marshal, former state Sen. Marty Golden will lead marchers through Third Avenue under this year’s theme “Continuing the Legacy.”

While the Norwegian population has dwindled significantly since its peak in Bay Ridge many decades ago, Norwegian Day Parade Chair Arlene Rutuelo will continue to spread awareness of the contributions of Norwegians to the city.

“I know we are in America and some people say, ‘What’s the use? Why do you bother having a parade?’” she said. “But we’ve worked really hard in the last few years to educate the surrounding communities about some of the unique things Norwegians have done for New York City, the state and the United States as a whole. We invite everyone to celebrate with us, as we celebrate with other cultures.

Find out more about the parade in the full story.

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