Ballard & Crown Hill

ballardHistorically Ballard is the traditional center of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian seafaring community, who were drawn to the area because of the salmon fishing opportunities. The neighborhood’s unofficial slogan, “Uff da”, comes from an Almost Live sketch that made fun of its Scandinavian culture. In recent years the decline of the fishing industry, and the addition of numerous condo buildings, has decreased the proportion of Scandinavian residents but the neighborhood is still proud of its heritage. Ballard is home to the Nordic Heritage Museum, which celebrates both the community of Ballard and the local Scandinavian history. Scandinavians unite in organizations such as the Sons of Norway Leif Ericson Lodge and the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Each year the community celebrates the Ballard SeafoodFest and Norwegian Constitution Day (also called Syttende Mai) on May 17 to commemorate the signing of the Norwegian Constitution.

Locals once nicknamed the neighborhood “Snoose Junction,” a reference to the Scandinavian settlers’ practice of using snus.