(Note: this article is about the 2012 parade. For information about the 2013, click on this link.)
The parade celebrates the May 17, 1814 declaration of independence from the victors of the Napoleonic Wars, that decreed that Denmark was to cede Norway to Sweeden. After a short war that was not won decisively by either side, Norway and Sweeden entered a union that allowed Norway to retain a large degree of autonomy. The union continued until 1905.
The parade traditionally marched along Fifth Avenue in years past. But this year, organizers are making the switch to Third Avenue to tackle the problem of declining attendance and to take advantage of sponsorship opportunities from the Merchants of Third Avenue association, as reported by Will Bredderman for the Bay Ridge Courier in March. The parade will march on Third Avenue from 86th Street to Bay Ridge Avenue/69th Street, jot over to 5th Avenue for a couple of blocks, and continue on 67th Street to 7th Avenue.
View 2012 Norwegian Constitution Day Parade in a larger map