Our Seattle neighborhood of Ballard was founded as a Norwegian fishing village, and they have had a Syttende Mai (17th of May - Norwegian Constitution Day) festival every year since 1889. All the Ballard schools have an entry, and Loyal Heights Elementary asked everyone who had been in the Willy Wonka musical to wear their costume, though any student could march. (Veronica's middle school is the assigned school for almost every elementary student in Ballard, it is actually outside the neighborhood and they did not have an entry.)
A gaggle of Oompa-Loompas lined up to march... Étienne is on the left.
Steve and Étienne marched in the parade, while Veronica, Carlton & I watched along the route. The Seattle Police Department lead off the parade with the colorguard behind.
There were many middle and high school band from NW Washington in the parade, but since Ballard High is the local they got to march right behind the colorguard.
BHS Viking Robotics team and their frisbee-throwing robot. The rest of the team is walking behind catching the frisbees.
Smoke-blowing Viking boat!
Then came Loyal Heights Elementary! The students who played Charlie, Willie Wonka, and Grandpa Joe are riding on the back of the car, driven by the principal.
Steve and Étienne...and a friendly squirrel.
It was quite a long parade! Ivars Clam, and the Deadliest Sweeper.
All the Seattle-area Norwegian social clubs march. Norwegian boats, and an accordion player.
A Viking gorilla, and a ladder truck from the Last Resort Fire Department. We need to go visit that museum this summer.
Unicycle riding is a thing here in Seattle. Whittier Elementary, which is just east of us, has every student learn to ride one. Veronica has several friends who attended there, and we had to buy her a unicycle last week so she could learn too. There must have been close to 100 Whittier students riding unicycles in the parade.
Veronica has also been telling me about these "giraffe" unicycles that some students learn to ride. There were several students riding them in the parade. Then the group came to a halt, and most of the kids grabbed on to their parent's hand to balance. But this one awesome girl did a track stand for several minutes!
Steve was carrying a camera and took a picture as they reached Ballard Avenue. The judging stand at the base of the flag announced each entry as we passed by.
The gaggle of Oompa-Loompas handed out lots of candy! Seattle rule, no throwing candy. I understand not throwing hard sugar, but this is Syttende Mai, Steve hoped they would throw pickled fish!
What a great parade! Already looking forward to next year!