For the first time, this year, the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade a fixture in Bay Ridge for six decades will be held on Third Avenue.
Arlene Rutuelo, the chairperson of the 17th of May Parade Committee, said the committee got final approval from the city on March 6 to shift the parade scheduled for May 20, beginning at 1:30 p.m. — from its longtime route along Fifth Avenue.
The parade will now run from 86th Street and Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue and 66th Street, picking up its longtime route at Bay Ridge Avenue and Fifth Avenue to end in Leif Ericson Park.
Were really excited about it, noted Rutuelo, whose business, Nordic Delicacies, is on Third Avenue.
The reason is financial, she added. The Fifth Avenue merchants are supportive, but the merchants on the lower end of Third Avenue are supporting us with journal ads. We couldnt get that from the merchants on the lower end of Fifth Avenue, she explained.
This is not the first time the parade route has shifted, Rutuelo added. Weve moved at least three times, and each time its been financially driven, to go to a different place where there is more support.
Robert Howe, the president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, said the strip would roll out the welcome mat for the event. Were happy to host all the Scandinavians who have ever lived in the community and still live in the community, and to add the Norwegian parade to the many fun-filled events we host annually on Third Avenue, he told this paper.
Nonetheless, Howe noted, Neither avenue gains by the loss of something to the other avenue. We are cognizant of that and supportive of our fellow merchants on Fifth Avenue.
We hate to lose them but we wish them well, remarked Basil Capetanakis, the vice president of the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. Were going to miss them because we have quite a bit of activity every time we have a special event. It brings people to the avenue, and we need that more than ever, but we wish them the best.