You can lead a Norseman to water — but he’d rather have beer.
Bay Ridgites raised $5,000 (that’s 33,059 Danish krones!) for May’s Norwegian American Parade during a fund-raiser gathered at the Salty Dog on April 10. The area is no longer the Scandinavian haven it was in the early 1900s, but the parade is still going strong, thanks in part to its growing reputation outside of Brooklyn, one parade organizer said.
“We have people that come as far away as Norway itself to take part in the parade — the Europeans hear New York and its exciting to them,” said parade honcho Arlene Rutuelo. “We’re working very hard to make it a destination and it is working — we’re getting more and more people.”
Still the majority of the expected 6,000 attendees will be locals, and people of all heritages are welcome, she said.
“We’re working hard to include the community, to tell people that you don’t have to be Norwegian to be in the parade,” she said. “We welcome everyone.”
The “May 17” parade commemorate’s Norway’s independence day but it will actually take place on May 15 this year. It will run north from the corner of 80th Street and Third Avenue, zig-zag along east Bay Ridge Avenue and 67th Street, and storm Leif Erickson Park between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
This year’s theme is “Saluting Norwegian Immigrants.”
Both Miss Norway of Greater New York Lene Samuelsen and Miss Heritage of Greater New York Susannah O’Shea — crowned by the Norwegian Immigration Association — came to help raise money and will take part in the May parade along with dozens of local churches and civic groups.
The police and fire departments will send their respective “Viking Society” Scandinavian heritage groups. The police department will also send its mounted police as well as honor and police guards. Marching bands slated include the Transit Pride Pipes and Drums, the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band, and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Ridgemen Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps.