On April 12, Bay Ridge’s Salty Dog was the site of a celebration and fundraiser for the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade.
The event, which attracted over 200 people with music and an open bar, featured an appearance by the newly crowned Miss Norway, Lauren Benson. And according to Arlene Rutuelo, a co-chair of the parade, the fundraiser was a success, raising over $5,000.
“We do well and this is just one part of the whole,” said Rutuelo. “We raised the excitement and we now start looking down the road to the parade.”
The parade will be held on Sunday, May 17 this year.
“We’ve been having this parade since 1962 and it has largely become a destination parade. People from all over the tri-state area, and some from as far as North Carolina, come down to see what we do,” stated Rutuelo proudly.
This year, the parade will recognize Jon Forrest Dohlin, the director of the Coney Island Aquarium, as an honorary marshal for his work in the community and for his Norwegian background.
While it is the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade, the event also features a celebration of different cultures and ethnicities.
“We look forward to the different communities that march and we believe that honoring other people’s cultures is just as important as honoring ours,” explained Rutuelo.
“We live in such a diverse area that unless we engage each other and learn about each other, we lose part of our community,” she continued.
“Overall it’s not just about being Norwegian,” Rutuelo concluded, “it’s about spreading our culture and other cultures.”