Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce - Event Information
Celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day, at Vesterheim Museum
Community Event Holiday Events Tourism
Are you ready to march in a parade and dance in the streets? Join Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s “Constitution Day,” on Friday, May 17.
The event includes a traditional Children’s Parade and a performance by Decorah’s Nordic Dancers. Museum admission will be free all day, and the museum and store will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Syttende Mai at Vesterheim is sponsored by Jeff and Marilyn Roverud of Decorah, Iowa, and Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge #503.
Vesterheim Museum 502 W Water Street Decorah , IA 52101
Syttende Mai is the day Norway ratified its constitution in 1814 at Eidsvoll and Norwegians celebrate with excited crowds—especially children—marching through the streets, waving flags and singing songs.
Gather for the Children’s Parade at 11:45 p.m. at the Winneshiek County Courthouse. The parade begins at 12:00 p.m. and everyone is invited to march along. The route starts on Main Street in Decorah at the Winneshiek County Courthouse, then travels north along Washington Street to Water Street, then west on Water Street to Mill Street.
At 12:25 p.m. on Mill St. next to the museum there will be a Vesterheim welcome and a Nordic Dancers performance. Visitors will be invited to dance, too!
There will be guided tours of the historic buildings in Vesterheim’s Heritage Park at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
In case of inclement weather, the parade and Nordic Dancers will be canceled.
The Nordic Dancers began in Decorah in 1966 and include two groups of dancers—an older one and a younger one. The dancers begin as third graders and make a 10-year commitment to continue through high school. They perform every year at various area festivals and traveled to Norway in 2016.
Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, in scenic Decorah, Iowa, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. This national treasure includes world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings. It is also a center for folk-art education, offering a wide variety of classes in authentic Norwegian folk art every year. For more information on the museum’s exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities, and ways to donate, check Vesterheim’s website at vesterheim.org, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.