Syttende Mai Fest

Syttende Mai Fest

Weekend nearest May 17
Norway Constitution Day is celebrated each year by descendants of Norwegian immigrants who first settled in Spring Grove, Minnesota. The town, incorporated in 1889, was the first Norse settlement in Minnesota, and the Norwegian language can still be heard in the town's streets and cafes. The Syttende Mai Fest offers ethnic foods, folk music and costumes, a show of traditional Norwegian arts and crafts, and a grand parade led by the "King of Trolls." Young children dressed as creatures known as Nisse roam the streets during the festival, wearing green caps and playing tricks on people. Unlike the trolls, who thrive on darkness and are known for making things go wrong, the Nisse bring luck and help out with household tasks. During the festival, the store windows often feature displays with trolls or Nisse peeking out.
Other Minnesota towns celebrating Syttende Mai with special festivities include Hendricks, Milan, Wahkon, and Willmar. Syttende Mai is celebrated by Norwegian communities in other states as well. The celebration in Stoughton, Wisconsin, takes place on the weekend nearest May 17 and features folk dancing, a Norwegian smorgasbord, and demonstrations of rosemaling (painted or carved floral designs) and hardanger (a form of pulled thread embroidery).
CONTACTS:
City of Spring Grove
118 1st Ave. N.W.
Spring Grove, MN 55974
507-498-5221
www.springgrovemn.com
Stoughton Chamber of Commerce
532 E. Main St.
Stoughton, WI 53589
888-873-7912 or 608-873-7912; fax: 608-873-7743
www.stoughtonwi.com