The sun shone on another festive Norwegian Constitution Day Parade

The sun was shining bright in Bay Ridge on Sunday, May 17 for the 63rd annual Norwegian Constitution Day Parade

“I think it went really well,” noted Arlene Rutuelo, co-chair of the parade committee. “Everyone I’ve spoken to said they noticed a lot more people this year. To see Third Avenue filled and the community coming out to march was great.”

According to Rutuelo, a number of attendees held their Norwegian flags with pride. “It was a beauty of colors and it was wonderful to see so many people,” she said, adding that, although it was a spring day, it felt like early summer. “It was a bit humid and sticky, but overall I was glad that sun was shining.”

Rutuelo was also surprised by the high attendance due to the several other activities taking place citywide. “There were a lot of things going on in Manhattan, so we were surprised with all these activities how many people showed up to the parade,” she said.

Local dignitaries, such as State Senator Marty Golden and Councilmember Vincent Gentile also attended the neighborhood staple. However, the star of this year’s parade, Rutuelo said, was the younger generation.

“We had a lot more children this year. We want to focus more on kids and get them involved. There lots of smiling faces. We went to Leif Erickson Park and gave out ice cream for them,” she added.

According to the parade committee co-chair, people from all over the world attended the parade, including Norway. “We also had new groups that were not even Norwegian, like the Guild for Exceptional Children and Democrats for Change,” Rutuelo said. “The community people just want to celebrate.”

This year, there was a live streaming from Salty Dog into Norway.

“There’s a lot of engagement, conversation and pride from all us celebrating our culture in that sense,” said Rutuelo stressing that she and her committee are already in the planning stages of next year’s event. “We start planning in June and just want to keep building it.”

This year’s grand marshal and main speaker was Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium. Little Miss Norway, Miss Norway of 2015 and Miss Heritage also made an appearance as well as a float featuring a recreated Viking Ship.

“It’s celebrating the culture something we are enthusiastic about. We love America,” Rutuelo said. “It’s our homeland. We also want to honor our roots and celebrate with family and generations that passed before.”

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Arthur de Gaeta

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