The first formal St Patrick’s Day Parade in Norway was held in Oslo in 2000, organised by Irish expatriates living in Norway. The aim ever since has been to provide a focus for celebrating Ireland’s national day in a manner which has a long tradition both in Ireland and in all the countries of the world to which the Irish diaspora has migrated.
The Parade is one of the activities organised by the Norwegian Irish Society. The Society is non-political and non-denominational, voluntary and non-profit making . and aims to promote Irish culture in Norway and help also to promote good relations between Norway and Ireland
The St Patrick’s Day event and other events organised by the Norwegian Irish Society are dependent on sponsorship to run these events. Sponsors are acknowledged on our website and on promotional literature which we issue in connection with the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Sponsors are also invited to participate in our events. New sponsors are always welcome and potential sponsors are invited to contact the Society.
While the Society organises a number of events every year, the highlight of the year of course is the Oslo St. Patrick’s Day parade which is held on a weekend as close as possible to the day itself. We get the opportunity to have our own “17th May” by marching down Oslo’s main street, Karl Johans gate, watched by appreciative Norwegians. The parade is a day for all the family and all friends to express their Irishness or their appreciation of Ireland. As with all St Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the world, the connection to Ireland may be close or distant, but everyone is welcome to be Irish for the day at least.
From its start the parade has continued to grow in size and now includes a pipe band, musicians and dancers, leprechauns and other strange creatures, wolfhounds and the venerable St Patrick himself. As well as locally based Irish, Norwegian friends of Ireland, and friends of every nationality, we now see many visitors from Ireland and elsewhere making their way to Norway to enjoy the parade.
We use the parade also to promote Irish cultural activities and we encourage any groups engaged in Irish or Irish-related cultural activities who would like to participate to contact us!