Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 4th celebration in Frogner Park

The American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN, sponsors an American Independence Day celebration each year in Oslo’s Frogner Park. This year was the 30th annual such celebration, and my husband and I were there to check it out on July 4th. The celebration last for about five hours, enough time to enjoy the festivities, eat some food, listen to music, and check out the different exhibitions. We’ve been there once before, about fifteen years ago, together with my American friend Liza and her daughter Inger. At that time, we walked around, checking out the different exhibits and stands, but opted for grilling our own hotdogs and hamburgers rather than buying any food at the different food stands. This year, we bought some great burgers at one of the burger stands advertising chili burgers and Santa Fe burgers; they were excellent. There were long lines for most of the food stands—burgers, barbecued ribs, chili dogs, pancakes and the like. Ben & Jerry’s was there as well, as was The Nighthawk Diner (Oslo’s American-style diner that I wrote a post about back in June 2010). There were also two really good bands that played during the afternoon—Moving Day and Project BrundleFly. We also checked out the Classic American Cars exhibition; there were some incredibly beautiful classic cars that both my husband and I enjoyed looking at (Jean, check out the black Trans Am). I took a lot of photos and am including some of them here. A cheerleading exhibition by the Viqueens, as well as a watermelon eating contest, pony riding for the kids, and several raffles, were also on the agenda for the day. In other words, there was plenty to do, see and eat—something for everyone. I have to admit that when I first attended this celebration fifteen years ago, I had a different feeling about it then than I do now. At that time, I took my American heritage more for granted and was perhaps a bit blasĂ© about it all. Now, there is a much more visceral response to what I value and love about being American, and I was very in tune with most of what was going on around me. I wonder if that has to do with my getting older (am I getting more nostalgic for all things American), or if I simply appreciate my country more, for all the little things that are part of my culture, that make life enjoyable and fun. Whatever the reason, I find that such experiences remind me of some of the enjoyable times in my childhood—when my family would attend the July 4th fireworks celebration in Tarrytown. We would get to the Washington Irving junior high school bleachers early in the evening in order to get seats and listen to the band play all the patriotic marches until it got dark enough for the fireworks to begin. 

I really enjoyed being in Frogner Park this year; it was a gorgeous day in Oslo—sunny and warm—and it was just pleasant to sit on the grass, listening to music and watching the people mill about. The only thing I missed was fireworks, but that would be difficult to offer, since it would mean hanging around until 11pm or so (about the time it starts to get dark in Oslo during the summer months). Check out the photos below, and you’ll get an idea of what a lovely day it was and of how many people attended the celebration. And of course, how gorgeous some of the classic American cars really are. I fell in love with one of them—Chrysler’s The New Yorker. Is that so surprising?

Trans Am

Chrysler's The New Yorker

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