Three west central Minnesota communities gearing up to celebrate Syttende Mai this weekend

Three Syttende Mai celebrations are set for the second weekend of May, as Norwegian descendants plan for the annual commemoration of the signing of the constitution of Norway. Milan, Sunburg and the Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association all have plans for events full of food, music and fun.

A parade was held during Sunburg's 16th annual Syttende Mai celebration Sunday, May 16, 2021. Sunburg, Milan and the Norway Lakes Lutheran Historical Association are holding celebrations this coming weekend.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo
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MILAN — This year is the 208th anniversary of the signing of the constitution of Norway, marking the independence of the Scandinavian country. This year also marks the return of the Syttende Mai celebrations in Milan and at the Norway Lakes Lutheran Historical Association, joining Sunburg, whose event returned last year, after coronavirus pandemic cancellations.

If one so chooses, they can indulge their love of all things Norwegian throughout the weekend.

Norway Lake

The festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake, 6338 County Road 40 Northwest in New London. The Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association is bringing back its annual Syttende Mai banquet after missing the last two years.

This year will be no different than in years past.

The night starts with a catered supper including meatballs and traditional Norwegian treats such as rommegrot and krumkake, along with other sweet treats. Then the Sound Image Quartet will entertain the crowd with barbershop harmonies and melodies.


People interested in attending are being asked to RSVP on the association's Facebook page , so planners can get a general count. A freewill donation is suggested, though there is no admission fee.

Erica Dischino/TribuneThe flag of Norway flew over Sunburg Sunday during the annual Syttende Mai celebration.
Syttende Mai celebrations are planned at the First Lutheran Church in New London, Sunburg and Milan this year.
Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo


Also returning after a two-year's hiatus is the Syttende Mai celebration in Milan. The 16th annual "A Taste of Syttende Mai" will begin at 10 a.m. and run through 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14.

Kviteseid Lutheran Church will be hosting the Smorgas Team from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church's fellowship hall. Norwegian foods of all kinds will be available.

Traditional Norwegian arts, crafts and, of course, more food, will be on hand throughout the day around downtown Milan. The Milan Village Art School, Arv Hus Museum, Billy Maple Tree's and other vendors will be selling their wares. There will also be children's activities.

The day will conclude with the Uff-da Parade starting at 2 p.m.


The 17th annual Sunburg Syttende Mai celebration will round out the weekend with a day full of activities Sunday, May 15.

It all starts at 7:30 to 9 a.m. with the Hope Lutheran Church pancake breakfast, with a non-denominational church service to follow at 9:30 a.m. There will be Norwegian treats to share while listening to fiddle music after the service. Fiddle music will also be on show at the shelter near the ball field from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m and again from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of the cafe.


The Antique and Out of the Field Tractor Pull is set to kick off at 10:45 a.m. at Glacial Plains Co-op. Spectators and pullers are asked to bring their own lawn chairs. Later in the day, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., it will be the kids' turn with the Kids Pedal Tractor Pull at the Fire Hall.

There will be a quilt display at the Sunburg Fire Hall from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with raffle winners to be announced at 6 p.m. The Community Center will be turned into a boutique with various vendors from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Around the noon hour, there will be the Sunburg Trolls Car Club car display; the Kultur Hus will be open; and the Norway Lake-Sunburg Lakers will take on the team from Paynesville in a baseball game at the ballpark.

The Grande Day Parade kicks off at 3:30 p.m., with the Fireman's Supper at the Fire Hall to follow from 4 to 7 p.m.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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