Welcome to Syttende Mai! Spring Grove celebrates

By: 
Jordan Gerard

Come join the Norwegians and their friends over in Spring Grove May 17-19 for the 2019 Syttende Mai celebration.

You’ll find a full Syttende Mai section with schedule and feature stories with the edition of this paper, but here’s a quick overview of events.

The fun starts on Friday, May 17 with city-wide garage sales. Find maps at Red’s IGA and Kwik Trip. Garage sales continue on Saturday, May 18.

The Norwegian Ridge Birding and Nature Trail will also be open all weekend. Check out the one or two-mile loops, and if you’re feeling adventurous, walk the four-mile extended option. Trailhead located behind Red’s IGA.

A kids’ parade will be held at 1:30 p.m., going from the school to Viking Memorial Park. Grades K-6 will enjoy a traditional May pole dance and treats afterwards.

Later that night, return to town for the Blast Off Banquet at the Fest Building. Tickets are $12 for all ages.

Enjoy a delicious meal and social hour at 6 p.m. and then the announcement of 2019 honorees including King of the Trolls, Business Person of the Year and Mest Hoyaktet Dame (Most Honored Lady).

Finally, the 2019 Syttende Mai Royalty will be crowned.

Saturday, May 18

Start your day off right at Dad’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Fest Building and serving until 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-12 and 5 and under are free.

Or get your friends (gnomies) together for the half marathon or relay race or the 5k run/walk. Up to four people on a team or individually.

Pre-register or register the day of the race. Packet pick up is May 17 at 5 p.m. on the Musikk Fest grounds or at 6:30 a.m. day of race, at the starting line.

Enjoy the looks and sounds of classic cars at Lee Auto Body’s Classic Car Show. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the show opens at 8:30 a.m.

If there’s one thing Norwegians (and Minnesotans in general) are never short of, it’s delicious food.

Several food options are available throughout the day and weekend. 

The Sons of Norway Lodge will host a bake sale and demonstration from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Legion front room (closed during parade). The demonstrations often include lefse, rommegrot, krumkake and heart waffles in addition to cultural crafts such as carving. 

The Norwegian food stand will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a new location--Trinity Lutheran Church basement.

The Spring Grove Athletic Boosters will be grilling up pork burgers, hot dogs and pork chops on a stick from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of The Cornert Store. Grab a Spring Grove Soda Pop to go with that meal.

For fun and entertainment, there’s much to do for all ages.

For the younger Syttende Mai goers, there’s the favorite kid’s pedal pull. How much weight can your kid pull on a pedal tractor? Have them test their strength! Registration begins at 10 a.m. and pulling starts at 10:30 a.m.

A new event this year is the Nerf War, sponsored by “Project My Neighborhood,” which is a national organization that raises funds and awareness for bullying prevention.

Kids must bring their own Nerf toy gun, but foam darts will be provided. Event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Magician David Harris will be in Viking Memorial Park, showing off his magic tricks from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Favorite entertainers Tappy’s Face Painting (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Balloons by Kevin (starting at 1 p.m.) and Kid Again Inflatables (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) will also delight young ones again.

Kids can also find treasures in the corn pile, which is sponsored by Merchants Bank.

More entertainment for older fest goers includes bingo in log cabin from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed during parade). The cost is 25 cents a card.

Make plans to see beautiful quilts made by the members of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild at the public library from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The Nordic Dancers from Decorah will also make a special appearance in the park at 10:30 a.m. and also appear in the parade.

Speaking of the parade, the parade steps off at noon. Grab a seat on Main Street and see marching bands, fire departments and other local and area units.

Cornhole bags will fly on Maple Drive with another favorite event--Coulee Region Cornhole Tournament. Check in is at 1 p.m. and the bags will fly at 1:30 p.m. $20 per team.

Mike McAbee, singer and songwriter, will also provide a good tune in the park after the parade.

For those looking for a sportier event, check out the alumni baseball game at 2:30 p.m. To sign up, contact Phil Griffin at 612-270-2105 or email phil.e.griffin@gmail.com.

Musikk Fest

Musikk Fest is back for its second year and bigger than last year. 

Tyler Farr, Mark Chestnutt and Kimberly Dunn will dazzle on stage with popular songs, classic songs and self-composed songs.

Fat Pat’s BBQ and Stumpy’s Concessions will also be available, in addition to a cash bar.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the gate. Check out www.musikkfest.com for more information and more information for available campsites.

Sunday, May 19

Sunday winds down with the meatball dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Carry outs only.

Uffda Kickball returns for the second year. Grab a team of friends and challenge others to a good old fashioned game of kickball.