Third Avenue is new route for Norwegian Day Parade

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 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.

“We’re 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 couldn’t 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. “We’ve moved at least three times, and each time it’s been financially driven, to go to a different place where there is more support.”

“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. “We’re 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.”

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