• Destination Stoughton


    Destination Stoughton- A Norwegian Weekend of Fun

    February 3-5, 2023

    The Stoughton Norwegian Summit Group, an informal group of Norwegian themed businesses, groups and organizations, builds a weekend of Norse opportunities around a signature event. The group was organized in 2011 under the leadership of Sons of Norway- Mandt Lodge to bring “all those things Norwegian” together to help promote each other’s events, activities, businesses and organizations. The group helps promote two Destination Weekends each year and of course, all are busy Syttende Mai Weekend!

    Our “featured” event: The Stoughton Norwegian Dancers- Norse Afternoon of Fun 2023 On Sunday, February 5th, the internationally known Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers will
    present their annual “Norse Afternoon of Fun” at 1:30 p.m. in the Stoughton High School gymnasium, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Stoughton, WI.  While celebrating their 70th year, the Dancers will present their answer to “cabin fever.” The combination of colorful Norwegian costumes, rousing music, and exuberant Scandinavian folk dancing produces the necessary elements to relieve the “winter-time blues”.

    Members of the audience are encouraged to wear their Norwegian bunads or sweaters.  This lively group of dancers will present a program which includes humorous dances, gymnastics, skits and audience participation dances.  A bake sale featuring Norwegian lefse and desserts is also part of the afternoon activities as well as the announcement of the Community Appreciation Award and 2023 Syttende Mai Royalty.  The admission for adults is $8.00 at the door.  Admission for children under 14 is $1.00.  Admission tickets can be purchased ahead of time for $5 at the Chamber of Commerce, McGlynn Pharmacy, Nordic Nook and Stoughton Lumber.   There will be a Raffle for 25 amazing prizes as well as a silent auction, auctioning off beautiful items, handcrafted from previous dancer bunads.  

    This is a unique offering for our 70th anniversary celebration.  The program appeals to all ages.  Bring the children and grandparents.  Make your attendance at the “Norse Afternoon of Fun” a family event. 

    Other events and happenings in Stoughton that weekend Thursday, February 2: Sons of Norway, 317 South Page Street, Stoughton
    Sons of Norway- Mandt Lodge will host a series of free lecture videos produced by The Great Courses. The Vikings are 36 - 30 minute lectures by Professor Kenneth W. Hart. The Norse Mythology series have 24 - 30 minute lectures presented by Jackson Crawford. That week we will be showing “First Humans, the Nine Realms, and Yggdrasil” and “The Norse Gods”. The lectures will continue through June 22. Lectures will be held downstairs at Sons of Norway, there is no charge, and no reservations are needed.

    Livsreise, the Norwegian Heritage Center, 277 W. Main Street, Stoughton, WI 53589. Website:  www.livsreise.org.

    Herbjørn Gausta, Works from the Vesterheim’s collection is still on display.  On Feb. 3 and 4 Livsreise will be open our normal hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but will be closed on Sunday, February 5. Livsreise includes interpretations of the immigrant journey from Norway, and features the cultural heritage brought to Stoughton along with sharing stories of individual
    immigrants. Featured now in our small gallery is an exhibit of paintings by the Norwegian emigrant painter, Herbjørn Nilson Gaustå. He was born in Vestfjorddalen, Telemark, Norway on June 16, 1854. He and his family emigrated from Norway and settled in Harmony, Minnesota in 1867. This exhibit is on loan from the Vesterheim, Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, IA.

    In celebration of winter, Livreise is also presenting a short-term display titled “The Selbu Mitten- the Star Mitten of Norway.” It’s difficult to call yourself a Norwegian American if you haven’t owned a pair of Selbuvotter, Selbu mittens. The pattern, originating in Selbu, in the county of Sør-Trøndelag, has spread in popularity over the many years since it was developed in the 1800s. Emigrants from Selbu to the United States brought their knitting traditions with them and were able to help put food on the table because of their knitted products.

    Visit our displays on Sunday at Norse Afternoon of Fun
    Norwegian American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library in Madison – NAGC & NL serves a worldwide audience by building and sharing stellar research collections, publishing useful and popular genealogical materials, and reaching out to all those who seek to know and venerate their Norwegian roots. We have been teaching in-person and virtual classes, providing programs for Sons of Norway and other group meetings, and are open to have people come in for research.

    Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge- Sons of Norway is a fraternal organization for all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds for those who have an interest in Norwegian heritage and culture. Visit with us about our events, membership, classes and youth activities.

    Stoughton Chamber and Visitor Services- Pick up your Stoughton Visitors Map and new Syttende Mai flyers!

    Livsreise, the Norwegian Heritage Center- Will have information about their facility and exhibits Hardanger Classes- Donna Olson will have information about Hardanger embroidery, displays, and class information.

    Stoughton Historical Society- Will have information about the Stoughton Historical Society and membership.

    Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society- Will have information about the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society and membership.


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