Coffee Break 2018 (copy)

Deb Oakland pours coffee from the Dunkin’ Donuts table during the Aug. 18 Coffee Break Festival.

During the hot summers of the 1800’s the Stoughton women of then-Hillside Avenue worked in the labor intensive tobacco warehouses. To maintain their high energy, these tough Norweigians invented a daily tradition of what is now known as the coffee break.

To honor this claim to fame and these women, Stoughton’s annual Coffee Break Festival will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Mandt Park, 801 S. Fourth St.

In addition to the events that keep people coming back year after year like the Brew Off, Cup O’ Joe Car Show and arts and crafts show there will be an addition to this year’s event. Discover Wisconsin, a tourism show started in the 1980’s, will use footage from the festival for a 2020 episode on Stoughton.

Stoughton Chamber of Commerce events and visitor services manager Callie LaPoint, who drinks coffee everyday, said she started going to this festival before she got involved planning it.

“(The chamber) just enjoys putting together a fun festival for the community and this focuses on the coffee break,” LaPoint said. “Getting everyone together and finding avenues for everyone to enjoy it.”

For the coffee connoisseurs, the Brew Off is a chance to taste test favorite brews. Local brewers like Autumn Pearl, Wildwood Cafe, Cheesers, Dunkin Donuts and Stoughton Hospital, in addition to regional brewers, will have hot coffee on hand.

Participants can purchase a $6 mug and help crown the “Roaster of the Year.” There is also a $15 handcrafted mug for purchase with the festival’s logo made by local art teacher Jason Brabender.

In addition to the coffee and cameras a “Cup O Joe All Wheels Show,” will have more than 100 cars on display. The show welcomes all makes, models, years and styles including campers, wagons, motorcycles and scooters. The vehicles will be on display starting at 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the winners announced at 2:30 p.m.

The arts and crafts show in the grandstands, which is open to the public, plans to feature more than 30 different vendors. Purchasable crafts include everything from tupperware and homemade pastries to local honey.

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Contact Mackenzie Krumme at