Sounds of Norway return to the Ridge

It’s that time of the year.

Around 200 people attended the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade fundraiser held on April 22, at what some think of as the parade “headquarters” — the Salty Dog Bar and Restaurant, 7509 3rd Avenue.

“We do it as a pre-excitement, ‘Let’s get ready for the Norwegians coming down Third Avenue,” Arlene Rutuelo, chair of the Norwegian American 17th of May Parade Committee of Greater New York, said of the fundraiser.

In its 66th year, the parade sees thousands of attendees each year coming out to celebrate their Norwegian heritage or just celebrate the culture. Though many Norwegians have moved out of Bay Ridge and the neighborhood is changing, Rutuelo said, the parade still stands in the community as a yearly landmark event.

“We do it in collaboration with the community,” Rutuelo said of the fundraiser and the parade. She explained that the parade is not Norwegian-exclusive, and welcomes everyone, no matter what culture or religion someone may come from.

Door prizes and a 50/50 kept guests spending as “The Swedish Meatball” Ellen Lindstrom performed accordion music and Scandinavian tunes. While the accordion is “old-fashioned thing,” said Rutuelo, Norwegians and non-Norwegians alike enjoyed the tunes at the fundraiser. Local luminaries such as State Senator Marty Golden were also in attendance.

The theme of this year’s parade is honoring Norwegian veterans, something that Rutuelo says “we should all be doing a better job at.”

The parade will take place on May 20 starting at 1:30 p.m. and, as always, will be rain or shine.

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