Stoughton is about to be “discovered.”
Over the course of a year, Discover Wisconsin documented what Stoughton has to offer including festivals, its natural beauty and the arts.
The program, which bills itself as the nation’s longest-running tourism show, will air the episode 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 9, on WKOW 27.
Discover Mediaworks, which produces the show, will also hold a Facebook “Watch Party” for the premiere a day early, Friday, May 8. For timing, information and to join the watch party, visit facebook.com/discoverwisconsin. The episode is expected to reach 600,000 people across the upper Great Lakes region, throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, northern Illinois and upper Michigan.
Stoughton Chamber of Commerce events and visitor services manager Callie LaPoint said what she loves about Stoughton is the smaller community charm with the proximity to the larger surrounding cities, and through the episode she hopes others will start to recognize Stoughton’s attractions.
“If people are looking for a new adventure for the weekend, Stoughton offers many community-focused events (both small and large),” she wrote the Hub in an email. “The shopping experience is one-of-a-kind, with our locally owned stores and restaurants, the tie-in to Norwegian culture threads throughout the community (and) our proximity to trails, parks and lakes is a draw for the active-enthusiasts.”
The show ironically kicks off at the Syttende Mai festival, which has been canceled this year because of COVID-19 concerns and was scheduled to begin the week after the show’s debut.
Syttende Mai gives viewers a glimpse into Stoughton’s personality and Norweigian identity, and host Mariah Haberman participates in Norwegian weaving and indulges in traditional Norwegian delicacies, according to a news release.
The episode also has scenes from Stoughton’s Coffee Break Festival, typically held in August.
The episode features three businesses: Diakonos Designs, where the hosts participate in a jewelry making class; Viking Brew Pub, the city’s first brewery, and the iconic, 80-year-old Fosdal Home Bakery.
The second half of the show highlights the greater Stoughton area’s outdoor recreation spots, such as Lake Kegonsa State Park. Haberman brings along her dog Josie and talks with Sarah Bolser from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Troll Beach also makes a brief appearance in the episode.
As Stoughton is increasingly known for its music, theaters and galleries, Discover Wisconsin highlights the city’s art scene as “it has become a haven for artists and art enthusiasts alike,” according to the news release.
The Discover Wisconsin crew explores the Stoughton Village Players Theater, the Abel Contemporary Gallery and the Stoughton Opera House. Also featured is Gazebo Musikk, a free, family friendly outdoor music series held every Thursday night during the summer.