On the Avenue: Annual 17th of May Parade showcases Norwegian pride

Gratulerer med dagen!

Norwegian pride was on full display “on the avenue” for the annual 17th of May Norwegian Day Parade this past Sunday afternoon. This cherished Bay Ridge tradition dates all the way back to 1952 and celebrates Norwegian independence.

A huge crowd of marchers and spectators lined Third Avenue, then followed the parade into Leif Ericson Park. There were plenty of traditional costumes, complete with Viking helmets and Norwegian and American flags being waved in unison.

Parade Formation Coordinator Chip Cafiero got there early to make sure that everyone stepped off on time and in the correct order.

“It’s always a challenge to get everyone assembled correctly, but that’s why we come early to make sure we have a plan when someone comes to us looking for their spot,” Cafiero explained. “The marshals have to identify each group and dignitary in the line of march and then direct them where to go.”

This year, Cafiero was spotted “on the avenue” assisting special guests like former state Sen. Marty Golden, who rode atop one of the parade’s classic automobiles, and Councilmember Justin Brannan, who marched near the front of the parade and waved to spectators.

“Thankfully, the weather was fantastic and everyone had a great time,” Cafiero said. “It was one of our better parades for sure. Congratulations to the parade committee on a job well done!”

Parade Formation Coordinator Chip Cafiero directs members of the NYPD to their spot in the line of march. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Rick Buttacavoli

The theme of the 2023 parade was “Remembering Norwegian Resistance.” As always, the line of march included replica Viking ships that drew loud applause from the crowds.

Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. President Dan Texeira of Lincoln Brokerage, 8114 Third Ave., said hosting events like the parade can serve as a boost to small businesses.

“As a civic organization, it’s our distinct pleasure to host events like the Norwegian Day Parade each year because they mean so much to so many supporters and people who come from out of town to enjoy the festivities,” Texeira told us. “As merchants, we recognize the importance of bringing people to the avenue en masse so that they can familiarize themselves with the many shops, bars and restaurants that make Bay Ridge so special.”

Youngsters wave Norwegian flags to cheer on the parade participants. Eagle Urban Media/Photo by Rick Buttacavoli

Next up, the 156th Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Service steps off promptly “on the avenue” at Third Avenue and 78th Street at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 29. Marchers will proceed down Third Avenue to Marine Avenue, up to Fourth Avenue and over to John Paul Jones Park for a memorial service that includes bagpipes, a flag raising ceremony and a wreath-laying by veteran service organizations.

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