American Independence Day in Oslo

ACCN

Photo: Michael Kleiner
At the Independence Day fair at Oslo’s Frogner Park, Vålerenga Trolls American football offered attendees a chance to thow a football through a hole in a board.

Michael Kleiner
The Norwegian American

My family’s trip to Oslo coincided with the American Independence Day celebration in Oslo, which was held on June 30 in Frogner Park. Other cities and towns in Norway celebrated the holiday as well. It was the 34th edition in Frogner Park arranged by the American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN) and its 16 member American Norwegian organizations in and around Oslo. Norwegians Worldwide (NWW) invited me to attend.

With food and activities, effort was made to create a “flavor” of the American holiday. Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, sandwiches, baked goods, waffles, candy apples, chili, homemade pickles, burritos, Mexican food, and jerk chicken were among the fare. For children, Project Oslo Children’s Museum provided activities; Nordtvedt Rideskole og Besøksgård offered pony rides, and there was a watermelon-eating contest. There were softball and baseball demos and a baseball game. Organizations including NWW, Norgeskolen, Democrats Abroad Norway, Republicans Abroad Norway, U.S. Embassy, and U.S. Consular Services had information tables. Other tables sold American souvenirs, jewelry, Norwegian sweaters, and used books. Also displayed were classic American cars. A big stage featured musical entertainment and cheerleading. Line dancing was also featured. There were raffles and a lucky spinning wheel. The one element missing, of course, with the day-long light, were fireworks.

ACCN

Photo: Michael Kleiner
You want Nate’s Pickles. One of the food stands at Oslo’s American Independence Day fete at Frogner Park.

“The ACCN’s main objective is an interest in furthering Norwegian-American relations in Norway, and also in strengthening the bonds between Norway and the United States,” said ACCN Chair Chrys Hellem in an email. “We feel that the American Independence Day celebration in Frogner Park is a great way to do that.”

The main sponsor was Christiania Lodge of Sons of Norway. Other sponsors and advertisers included Bilia, Coca-Cola, Iceland Air, Exxon Mobil, Haugen-Gruppen, Norwegian, Mathuset Jacob’s, Tine, Oracle, Oluf Lorentzen, Røhneselmer, 3M, and 3M Studio. Member organizations include American Chamber of Commerce Norway, U.S. Embassy, American Lutheran Congregation Oslo, American Women’s Club of Oslo, Democrats Abroad Norway. Republicans Abroad Norway, University of Oslo International Summer School, New America House, Nordmanns Forbundet/Norwegians Worldwide, Northern Lights Fund, The Norwegian American Historical Association, Noram Scholarships, Oslo Barnemuseum, Fulbright Norway, and Norges Soft and Baseball Forbund.

To learn more about the American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCn), visit www.accn.no.

This article originally appeared in the July 26, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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