2019 Norse Afternoon of Fun

The Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers march into the gymnasium two-by-two during the Norse Afternoon of Fun Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at the high school.

Norse Afternoon of Fun will return for its 68th year next month.

Participants can expect a similar line-up to shows in previous years. The Stoughton High School Norwegian Dancers will take center stage performing a variety of dances hailing from the Scandinavian countries starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.

The Sunday event will include a reveal of “Stoughton’s best-kept secret” 2020 Sytennde Mai’s king and queen is set to occur.

General admission tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door, children 14 years old and younger are $1.

During and after the performance, informational booths will be set up at SHS’s gym to promote Norwegian heritage and culture.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their national costumes, and children under the age of 10 who are dressed in their national or Norwegian costumes will receive free admission.

A bake sale featuring authentic pastries and baked goods will be available for purchase, including lefse prepared by the Stoughton Norwegian Dancer parents. There will also be a raffle drawing that includes 30 prizes.

“The combination of colorful Norwegian costumes, rousing music and exuberant ethnic folk dancing produces the necessary elements to relieve the “winter blues,’’ a news release stated.

To get a jump-start on all this cultural immersion, attendees can tour the Norwegian heritage museum Livsreise on Friday and Saturday. Located at the corner of Page and Main streets, the museum features exhibits on the Norwegian immigrant experience. Visitors can also wander through the Historic Depot and Museum on the other side of downtown.

Peek at Norwegian Heritage

During the the Norse Afternoon of Fun, the local Norwegian Summit group will set up booths to educate people on Norwegian heritage and culture. The booths open at 12:30 p.m. and include:

• Hardanger: Donna Olson will have information about Hardanger embroidery, displays,

and classes.

• Livsreise: Interpretations and stories of individual immigrant journeys from Norway and the cultural heritage brought to Stoughton.

• Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library (Madison): Worldwide organizations building and sharing research collections and genealogical materials and reaching out to those who want to know about their Norwegian roots.

• Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge: Sons of Norway is an organization for those who have an interest in exploring Norwegian heritage and culture through events, membership, classes and youth activities.

Weekend happenings

In addition to the performance on Sunday, Livsreise will host a special exhibit, and the Historic Depot and Museum is open for tours.

Livsreise, at 277 W. Main St., has a knitting exhibit titled “"Norwegian Knitting" which is on display until Feb. 22. 

From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, people can tour the Historic Depot and Museum at 532 E. Main St. The museum will host a self-guided tour, with original Mandt wagons and other Stoughton historical items on display.

For information visit the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce website at stoughtonwi.com or email Darlene Arneson of the Sons of Norway- Mandt Lodge, at arnesonfamily5@gmail.com or 873-7209.

-Mackenzie Krumme