Westby’s 44th Annual Syttende Mai Festival Happens around the Westby House Inn

Whenever you hear or read about Norwegian history, Syttende Mai is difinitely a topic visited.  Ever wonder how to pronounce it…??? It’s simple, just say  “Soot in my eye!!  Now that you can say it, here is some history on Westby’s annual festival. The 2012 weekend dates are May 18,19,20, 2012.

Westby’s Annual Syttende Mai Festival commemorates Norway’s Independence Day. In December 1813, Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Therefore ending a 434 years of union between Norway and Denmark. The Norwegian Constitution was signed on May 16, 1814 and was ratified by Christian Frederik on May 17th.  To this day, May 17th is celebrated as the Norwegian national day. Thus Syttende Mai – 17th of May.  The day Norway achieved independence for Denmark. However, on July 27, 1814, the Swedes attacked and Norway was forced to surrender. The union was formally dissolved in JJune 7, 1905, when Norway declared itself independent of Sweden.

The Norwegian immigrants brought the tradition of celebrating Syttende Mai with them to America and the first Westby festival was officially organized and celebrated in1969. To this day the three-day celebration features Norwegian traditions, heritage and good old fashion ethic food. A bicycle tour, 5 k walk/run, arts & crafts, kiddie parades and children’s games,  are just part of the fun.  Church meatball dinners, rommegrot, and lefsa are in abundance during the weekend; along with great local entertainment and Sunday’s outstanding car and bike show and huge parade! 

Viist www.westbysyttendemai.com site for a complete list of activities and more information on events and the Saturday entertainment by Nashville songwriter and local native, Cora Rose.

The Inn is the perfect location to overnight stays when you attend the festival. Arrive and park your car on Friday and don’t need to get back in the car until you depart!    Dates of Festival – May 18 -19-20, 2012

“Mange takk min ven, ha en behagelig reise” – Many thanks my friend, have a pleasant journey!