Norway’s Syttende Mai celebration arrives in Ballard

The annual 17th of May parade travels down the heart of the neighborhood.

A wooden boat on a float with several passengers inside waving Norway flags

Parade floats in the past have included small wooden boats.

Photo via 17th of May Seattle

If you see some horse-drawn wagons trotting through Ballard today surrounded by floats and Norwegian flags, it must mean one thing: Syttende Mai is here.

Translated simply as “the 17th of May,” Syttende Mai is Norway’s national day, commemorating the date in 1814 when the country signed its constitution and became an independent nation. Seattle’s Syttende Mai celebration is billed as the largest in the world outside, you know, Norway itself.

Here’s what to expect:

More from SEAtoday