Orkney’s special friendship with Norway will be celebrated this Friday (17 May) when the annual Norwegian Constitution Day takes place.
The day will begin at 10:30 with a Remembrance service at the Norwegian war graves in St Olaf's Cemetery. Transport will be provided from Kirkwall Pierhead to the cemetery at 10:00.
At 12:00 the Tog will set off from the Kirkwall Pierhead to the Market Green, led by members of the Kirkwall City Pipe Band, Norwegian visitors, school children and any members of the public who would like to join in.
When the Tog arrives outside the St Magnus Cathedral the Norwegian National Anthem will be played followed by a welcome speech from Orkney Islands Council's Convener Harvey Johnston. Norwegian Guest of Honour Dr Eva Robards will then make a reply speech. Dr Robards is the current Chairman of CoScan - the Confederation of Scandinavian Societies.
Kirkwall City Pipe Band will then perform (at around 12:30) followed by the Orkney Norway Friendship Association Concert in the Cathedral, featuring pupils from Stromness Academy - donations will be welcome at the door.
Norwegian Constitution Day will end with the Orkney Norway Friendship Association Dinner Dance at the Commodore at 19:00 for a 19:30 start. Tickets cost £22.50 for adults (school children go free) and are available from The Orcadian Bookshop in Kirkwall or Wisharts in Stromness.
Everyone is welcome to join in all the day’s events.
Norwegian Constitution Day is celebrated in Orkney every year and the longstanding relationship dates back many centuries to when the islands were populated by Norwegians in the late 700s.
In 1983 an official Twinning Agreement was signed with Hordaland County Council and at Christmas a tree is delivered to Orkney as a gift from the region.