You are invited to celebrate Syttende Mai with Vesterheim!

nordic dancers

Photo courtesy of Vesterheim
The Nordic Dancers will step out in style when Vesterheim celebrates Syttende Mai in Decorah, Iowa.

Vesterheim, Decorah

Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, invites everyone to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day, on May 17, both on campus in Decorah, Iowa, and online.

Vesterheim’s celebration includes family events and an online presentation from Norway, which can be watched from the comfort of home or together with others at the museum. Admission is free all day, and the museum and store will be open from
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At noon (CST), Norwegian storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen will join online from Ryfylkemuseet in Sand, Norway, to tell “My Last 17 Mai in My Hometown, Now as a Red Russ,” her memories of russefeiring, a longstanding tradition for high school graduates in Norway. To watch from home, registration for the Zoom link is required and available at Or enjoy the presentation with others in Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center.

At 12:45 p.m., Sharon Rossman will tell stories inspired by Nordic myths in the museum’s Main Building.

Gather for the Children’s Parade at
1 p.m. in Vesterheim Heritage Park. Norwegian flags will be given out at the entrance of the museum’s Main Building, and the parade will start at 1:15 p.m. Everyone is invited to march along.

At 1:30 p.m. on Mill Street next to the museum, there will be a Vesterheim welcome and a performance by Decorah’s Nordic Dancers. Visitors will be invited to dance, too!

There will be guided tours of the historic buildings in Vesterheim’s Heritage Park at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Also, look for live streams on Vesterheim’s Facebook page.

For more information on exhibits, classes, programs, tours, membership opportunities, and ways to donate and volunteer, connect at, (563) 382-9681, and Vesterheim, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, Iowa, 52101-0379.

This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2022, issue of
The Norwegian American.

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Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa is the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, with over 33,000 artifacts, 12 historic buildings, a Folk Art School, and a library and archives. This treasure showcases the most extensive collection of Norwegian- American artifacts in the world. Visit