Syttende Mai means "May 17" in Norwegian, but it's coming a little early to Hendricks this year because of scheduling conflicts with school graduations.
Starting today, Hendricks celebrates its Norwegian heritage with food, fun, music and the crowning of the new Ole and Lena.
"They're kind of like our community royalty," said Paul Olson, one of the event's organizers. "They're recognized for their commitment to our Scandinavian heritage."
May 17 is Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day) in Norway and commemorates the signing of the constitution that declared Norway an independent nation in 1814, although it wasn't until June 7, 1905, that Norway peacefully separated from Sweden.
According to Olson, Hendricks has observed Syttende Mai since 1991.
"Basically it's to celebrate the Norwegian heritage of the community with different foods and treats prepared by cafes and bakeries in town," Olson said. "And there are events for the young people. There's an animal show put on by the local veterinarians on Saturday and a Klub dinner. Klub is kind of like a round potato dumpling. Sunday morning one of the senior citizens organizations is hosting a breakfast that will kind of wrap it up."
Most of the fun goes on tonight at the school auditorium. During a traditional Norwegian meal of ham balls, meat balls, scalloped potatoes, candied carrots, Jell-O, and of course lefse, there will be entertainment by the Syttende Mai Singers, The Church Ladies, and special guest Auntie Kreamsaugen a.k.a. Darlene Rolle, from Detroit Lakes and her "Just Plain Funny" act.
"Auntie Kreamsaugen" grew up on a farm near Ulen and learned to play the ukulele, clarinet, and double B-flat tuba in between farm chores. She has had a successful career in stand-up comedy in Arizona, Texas, and throughout the Midwest. Readers of the Winter Texan Times Newspaper voted her "favorite comedienne."
There are rumors of a "Kreamsaugen for President" campaign in the works, so attendees might get in on a surprise announcement.
"Friday night is for entertainment with laughs and music," Olson said, "and to poke fun at ourselves. We're good at that."
Lefse and other treats at Don's Bakery.
Lutefisk pizza at The Local.
3-5 p.m. Brookings Radio personality Grant Peterson broadcasting live from The Local on KBRK.
5:30-6:30 p.m. PTO serving a meal at the school gym, prior to the program. Cost: $6 - not included with the $5 Syttende Mai button.
Entertainment during the meal.
7 p.m. Evening program at the school gym. Admission $5, or with the souvenir Syttende Mai button. Entertainment includes The Syttende Mai Singers, The Church Ladies, Auntie Kreamsaugen.
Crowning of 2012 "Ole and Lena."
7:30 a.m. Citywide rummage sale.
8 a.m. Start for Fun Run (5K) and Walk (1 mile). $15 registration fee, includes a souvenir T-shirt. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at the fire hall.
Woof-da dog and pet show by vet clinic, parade starts at 11 a.m.
1 p.m. Klub dinner at Irene's Cafe.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Scandinavian breakfast at the Senior Citizen's Center.