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Parade preparations are underway!

Bay Ridge and its famous Scandinavian population are getting ready for the annual Constitution Day Parade, otherwise known as Syttende Mai or the 17th of May Parade, scheduled to take place this year on Sunday, May 19.

Arlene Rutuelo, president of the parade committee, says that residents are already getting excited about the parade, with about 100,000 onlookers expected to throng Third Avenue for the event.

“The community really gets involved a few days before the parade and there’s a lot of activity,” she said. “Between churches, Sons of Norway and Viking Fest, there is so much going on! It’s fun to see everyone excited and coming back home to Bay Ridge.”

This year’s parade them is “Sharing Our Norwegian Traditions.”

Among the marchers, there will be two bands from Norway, the Vansa Brass Band, and Lista Trekkspillklubb (The Lista Accordion Club) along with Hellvik Mannskor (a Men’s Chorus), as well as the Sons of Norway and Miss Norway of Greater New York 2013, Amy Lindland.

They will all head to Leif Ericson Park, where the grandstand will be located and where the parade will conclude with a formal program highlighted by a special guest speaker, Rune Edvardsen.

Edvardsen is the director of the Dina Foundation, which is based in Norway and seeks to “provide aid and relief to refugees, victims of natural disasters and war without partiality to race, ethnic group, political beliefs or religion.” Edvardsen regularly travels to Africa and Asia to do good, and the parade’s organizers are excited to have him as this year’s speaker.

“We try to pick people to come and be a speaker who have done amazing work in the world. His organization has literally saved thousands of women and children from rape and brutalization,” said Rutuelo.

This year will be Bay Ridge’s 61st Constitution Day Parade, and with a recent increase in the Scandinavian population of Brooklyn, Rutuelo thinks there will be a great turn out.

The parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m., from 81st Street and Third Avenue.

For more information, go to www.may17paradeny.com.

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