Oslo stops 4th of July car show

Classic car exhibit in Frogner Park not green enough for municipality

4th of July car show

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
For many years on Fourth of July, American classic cars have been exhibited in Oslo’s Frogner Park. The city is planning to shut down the festival this year for environmental reasons. Here, classisc cars are shown on National Motorist Day in Oslo in 2016.

Alexander Vestrum
Translated by Andy Meyer

For years, there has been an exhibition of American classic cars during the celebration of the American Independence Day in Frogner Park. Now Oslo says no more.

The reason for the decision is that the city believes it is “very unfortunate to allow a great number of cars into a protected park.”

“We are very restrictive in renting out Frogner Park for use. This is a protected, green park that is vulnerable, and we have to limit the erosion of the park,” writes communications director Richard Kongsteien in a statement to NTB.

Reactions were numerous. “It is really sad that something that is a wholesome hobby is met with such resistance from different angles. We’re trying to create positive activities that young and old can enjoy, but it’s getting harder and harder,” writes Thomas Følling at Raceworz Norway.

The car association Amcar says that Oslo’s Agency for Urban Environment is “going for the jugular of Norwegian car enthusiasts.” “To be against private car use in Oslo’s downtown is an honest political issue. It is, however, thoroughly misguided political theater to go after a cultural event with a long tradition that has given joy to participants for well over 20 years,” writes the association on their Facebook page.

Oslo’s municipal government says that they are in dialogue with the American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN), which backs the event in Frogner Park. They will as yet still be allowed to have an event with booths and activities but with no cars.

This article originally appeared in the February 7, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.