Fresh off the triumphant return of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which saw huge crowds gather “on the avenue” in celebration of all things Irish, another cultural tradition is set to return on May 15.
The Norwegian Constitution Day Parade — a neighborhood tradition since 1952 — will be stepping off from 80th Street along Third Avenue to Bay Ridge Avenue, then up to Fifth Avenue and over to the reviewing stand in Leif Ericson Park.
The parade theme will be “Honoring Essential Workers.”
Floats modeled after Viking ships are always a main attraction at the parade, which typically draws hundreds of spectators and participants from all different areas.
Norwegian Day Parade General Chair Arlene Bakke Rutuelo said, “I look forward to restarting our wonderful traditions, and continuing to teach the next generation and the surrounding communities how to ‘party’ Norwegian style!”
To celebrate and support the parade effort, a fundraiser will be taking place on Sunday, April 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Salty Dog Restaurant, 7509 Third Ave. Tickets are $20 per person and the event will feature raffles, light refreshments and a cash bar. Entertainment will be provided by Swedish Meatballs with Ellen Lindstrom.
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As Muslims in Bay Ridge and beyond continue to observe the holy month of Ramadan, which began on April 2 and ends May 2, local elected officials and organizations are coming together to show support for their Muslim neighbors.
For instance, you may have noticed the impressive crescent moon lights illuminating much of Fifth Avenue. These lights, which were first introduced to the community last year to mark Ramadan thanks to the efforts of local elected officials, businesses and the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID, will once again remain up throughout the month.
In addition, BID members are pleased to be hosting a community iftar — the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan — “on the avenue” on Friday, April 8, which they expect to draw huge crowds. The event will take place at Leif Ericson Park, Fifth Avenue and 67th Street, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
“We are beyond thrilled to have the Bay Ridge Community Iftar hosted on Fifth Avenue,” said BID Executive Director Amanda Zenteno. “It is a pleasure to work with all our elected officials and local community organizations to bring this unique celebration to Leif Ericson Park.”
The event will feature a prayer led by Imam Dr. Mohamed Elbar of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, followed by the breaking of fast.
“Everyone is invited! Come enjoy an iftar dinner with your friends and neighbors,” Zenteno said.
Councilmember Justin Brannan — one of the event organizers — is glad to be part of this new tradition.
“I’m proud to represent one of the largest and oldest Muslim communities in the United States, right here in Bay Ridge, and excited to partner with some great local organizations on a new tradition: a free, public, community iftar celebration!”
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The event, dubbed “Dine and Donate,” will feature a hot buffet dinner, dessert and coffee, plus raffles, door prize and a lotto board. Tickets are $50 each and the RSVP date is April 15.
According to the ALA, its Lung Force initiative “unites women, men and caregivers across the country to stand together against lung cancer. Through education, advocacy and research, we work to ensure fewer people are diagnosed and those living with lung cancer live longer.”
If you’re looking for a delicious meal “on the avenue” and the chance to do some good, be sure to sign up for this one-night-only event.