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The Constitution Day Parade must go on

On Sunday, May 19, Brooklyn’s Norwegian population was saying a collective “Uff da!” in the rain.

The annual Norwegian Constitution Day Parade kicked off at Third Avenue and 81st Street at 1:30 p.m., rain or shine, just like organizers promised.

Revelers lined Third Avenue waving Norwegian flags, St. Olaf’s pennants, and holding signs with famous Norwegian phrases like “Uff da!” Though most wore ponchos and had umbrellas, nothing could dampen the spirits at one of Bay Ridge’s most celebrated and anticipated events, where even the Third Avenue storefronts prepare by hanging Norwegian flags in the windows.

The parade is popular among all ages, but children play a big role each year. Dave Almroth, whose daughters Anna and Kirsten were enjoying their first parade from the dry safety of their stroller, said he’s happy the parade continued in spite of the drizzle and he’s excited to show his children their heritage.

“This is my third year,” said another attendee, Evelyn Radola. “But it’s even more special to me now that my little granddaughter is marching in it!”

Rudola’s granddaughter was one of many. Representatives from St. Olaf’s College in Minnesota marched along with the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band and Miss Norway Greater New York 2013, Amy Lindland, was there to help cheer the crowds.

Radola is not Norwegian, but her daughter-in-law, Amanda, is, and they both agreed that on Constitution Day, “everyone is Norwegian!”

Even outside of Brooklyn, Scandinavian pride flares up mid-May. Karen Jansen and her family traveled from Connecticut to attend the parade to celebrate her and her husband’s anniversary, which falls on May 17, the actual Constitution Day of Norway, otherwise known as Syttende Mai.

“It’s great to see all these people out here,” Jansen said. “The costumes, the flags, all of it, especially in spite of this weather!”

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