Hipp hipp hurra!
2018 laureate Melannie Denise Cunningham and three GTPP board members repeated that phrase frequently yesterday in Ballard, Washington, at the annual celebration of Norway's Constitution Day, Syttende Mai (17th of May). The festivities began at a luncheon held at the recently-opened new Nordic Museum, where the main speaker was the Honorable Kåre R. Aas, Ambassador of Norway to the United States. The tables were decorated appropriately with red, white, and blue - including the delicious dessert, a layered marzipan cake. After speeches and musical entertainment, the crowd dispersed to other 17th of May activities - viewing exhibits at the museum, dancing and singing at Bergen Place, or enjoying more beverages and snacks at Leif Erikson Hall.
The real fun, however, was being a part of the "Syttende Mai" parade through the streets of Ballard, which started at 6 PM. With thousands of onlookers, the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize contingent was a hit, as Miss Melannie (the self-pro-claimed "Peace Queen") rode in majesty, sitting on top of the back seat of a red Mercedes convertible, waving and cheering. The banner of the GTPP went before the car, carried proudly by two board members.
Note: the 17th of May is Norway's biggest holiday, commemorating the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in 1814. Even though Norway did not become an independent nation until 1905, the journey to independence began with the writing Constitution, and is celebrated with great gusto in every city and village in Norway with children's parades and much flag-waving and cheering of Hipp hipp hurra!
Janet Ruud, President of the Board