I Survived

Last year, I helped the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce put together a virtual Julebord, a Norwegian Christmas dinner that was broadcast on their YouTube channel. Normally, a posh gathering at the Seattle Golf Club, but being deep in the throws of COVID, I assembled this virtual replica of their event and it turned out really nice.

Nice enough, that when Seattle’s 17th of May Committee saw itself facing the same dilemma for this year’s “Syttende Mai” celebration, they contacted me to replicate the magic for them.

After all, in 2020, this COVID thing started slow and hit hard quickly, catching a lot of people off guard. Last year’s Syttende Mai events were just flat canceled. Although, there was a group of us who put together an unofficial car parade, just to keep the city’s streak a live. After all, Seattle has been celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day since 1889. Here’s a feature I put together out of that unofficial parade.

But that’s only the parade part of the celebration. The day traditionally begins with a fancy luncheon at the National Nordic Museum and that’s what I was contracted to recreate virtually for the 17th of May, 2021. Here’s this year’s program, for your viewing pleasure.

Hundreds of people from around the world tuned in, from relatives in Norway, to family and friends throughout the United States–Florida, Minnesota, Anchorage among the viewers. While it was first broadcast live at 11:30am on Monday, you’re now able to watch the full broadcast, or just the program or the After Party on their YouTube channel. There have been over 1,000 combined views of the event so far. For the record, Seattle’s 17th of May celebration is the largest outside of Norway.

I also put together this collection of music & memories, which played before and after the main program. You may see some familiar faces in here.

I feel like the December production was my Master’s course to be able to take on something as big as the virtual Syttende Mai. It gave me all the healthy paranoia to out-think what could possibly go wrong, because there’s always that one thing. Actually, there were several along the way. I have basically lived this project for the past couple of months and when 11:30 am rolled around this past Monday, May 17th, and the darn thing actually began broadcasting like it was supposed to, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I’m extremely proud of how it turned out, grateful to the 17th of May Committee for trusting me to make it all look good, and thankful for all the accolades that came in during and after the broadcast.

The bottom line–I survived!

Hipp, Hipp, Hurra for Syttende Mai.

Tim Hunter

What vaccinated people do on the 17th of May

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