Viking Fest and Norwegian Day Parade return to Bay Ridge this weekend

A photo from the 2022 Norwegian Day Parade.
A photo from the 2022 Norwegian Day Parade.
File photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Bay Ridge is holding back-to-back events this weekend to celebrate it’s long-standing Nordic heritage.

The 69th annual Norwegian Constitution Day parade returns to the nabe this Sunday, while Viking Fest takes place on Saturday at Owl’s Head/Bliss Park.

Expect replicas of long ships and plenty of folks donning traditional Viking garb in Owl’s Head Park from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, as well as fun for the kids.

Festival organizers, the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, have partnered again with The Crown Province of Østgarðr chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism – a not-for-profit Medieval recreation group.

Among the other groups taking part in this year’s festival for the first time are Gladiators NYC – a medieval fight club of sorts. As members of the NYC chapter of the Armored Combat League, they don armor and engage in hand-to-hand combat with real swords and maces.

There will also be an appearance from Bay Ridge’s favorite Swedish Meatball, “Eceltic Ellen” Lindstromon and her accordion.

On Sunday, the parade held to commemorate the signage of the Norwegian constitution on May 17, 1814, will take place at 1:30 p.m., starting from 3rd Avenue between 85th Street and 81st Street.

The procession will continue toward Bay Ridge Parkway where it will turn up to Fifth Avenue, and then again onto 67th Street, proceeding alongside Lief Ericson Park until ending at the reviewing stand between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Leading the parade will be Grand Marshals – Deputy Military Advisor to the UN Ianneke Borgersen Karlsen and Deputy Consul General of Norway in NYC Aslaug Nygård.

Aside from a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, the neighborhood has held a 17th of May Parade yearly since 1952 on the on the Sunday closest to the name-sake date.

The Norwegian holiday also doubles as a celebration of the areas history given much of the borough was settled by Norwegian immigrants during the 1800s.