Syttende Mai is Norwegian for seventeenth of May.

In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, Norwegians gathered on May 17, 1814, in the small village of Eidsvoll to ratify their own constitution, which established Norway as an independent country. Norwegians throughout the world continue to celebrate May 17 as Syttende Mai, the Norwegian Constitution Day.

In Stoughton, the Syttende Mai festival is held on the weekend closest to May 17. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Stoughton enjoyed an influx of Norwegians and at one time, as many as 75 percent of its residents spoke Norwegian. These immigrants celebrated Syttende Mai unofficially, but it became an annual, city-wide tradition in the 1950s. In 1967, the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce took over the festival, and has planned the event each year since.

As many as 20,000 people attend the Syttende Mai festival each year to celebrate Norway’s National Day and Stoughton’s deep Norwegian roots. Today, Syttende Mai serves as a way to preserve the city’s Norwegian heritage and share its culture with a new generation.


Friday • 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday • 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


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Entrance to the three-day weekend festival is $5. Children 5 and under are free.

Visitors receive a Booster Button to wear as their all-access pass to the Stoughton festival’s weekend of fun. This Booster Button is required for entry to all Syttende Mai events. Single event tickets are not available for purchase.

When you purchase your Booster Button, you support the Stoughton festival and ensure that the Syttende Mai celebration is a continued success. Proceeds support the festival’s parades, trophies and prizes, shuttle buses, brochures, performances, and of course, our coveted Stoughton Norwegian Dancer performances. It does all of this and so much more.

With so much to do and see, the $5 Booster Button is a bargain.  


You can buy your $5 festival Booster Button at the Blue Information Booths at these locations:

  • S. Division Street • Entrance to the Viking Games and Craft Beer Tent (1 block south of Main Street near W. Jefferson Street)
  • Stoughton Opera House • 381 E. Main Street
  • Corner of E. Main and S. Forrest Streets • near the Viking Brewpub, 211 E. Main Street
  • S. Division and Main Streets • near McGlynn Pharmacy, 100 E. Main Street
  • River Bluff Middle School • 235 N. Forrest Street • Entrance to the Arts & Crafts Fair
  • Division Street Park • between North and Forton Streets. This location Friday only.

Booster Buttons are available at the entrance to these official festival locations:

  • Chorus Public House • 154 W. Main St. (Scandinavian Arts, Crafts, and Music)
  • Community Building • 320 North St. (Norwegian Dancer Performances)
  • School Administration Building • 320 North St. (Quilt & Hardanger Show Location)

Booster Buttons are available at retail shops in Stoughton. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF SYTTENDE MAI!

Find buttons and coins at:  All Through the House, Asleson's True Value, Associated Bank, Autumn Pearl, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Cheesers, Fosdal's Bakery, Home Savings Bank, Kicks Unlimited, McFarland State Bank, McGlynn Pharmacy, Old National Bank, Prize Impressions, Quality Inn and Suites, Radio Shack, Stoughton Senior Center, Stoughton City Hall, Stoughton Eye Care and Eyewear, Stoughton Floral, Stoughton Garden Center, Stoughton Hospital, Stoughton Lumber, Stoughton Utilities, The UPS Store, and Zelm Chiropractic.


All visitors to the Stoughton festival must purchase the $5 Booster Button to access Syttende Mai weekend events. This is the all-access pass to the festival and no one will be admitted to the events without the Booster Button. Individual event tickets will not be sold.

The Commemorative Coin is a keepsake of each year’s Syttende Mai festival in Stoughton, Wisconsin. Visitors and locals collect the coin each year because it’s a lasting memento of that year’s festival that features an illustration of Stoughton’s Norwegian heritage.  This year's button features Stoughton's Carriage House on the American side and a one-horse carriage standing in front of the fjords on the Norwegian side.  The coin is $12.


Find buttons and coins at:  All Through the House, Asleson's True Value, Associated Bank, Autumn Pearl, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Cheesers, Fosdal's Bakery, Home Savings Bank, Kicks Unlimited, McFarland State Bank, McGlynn Pharmacy, Old National Bank, Prize Impressions, Quality Inn and Suites, Radio Shack, Stoughton Senior Center, Stoughton City Hall, Stoughton Eye Care and Eyewear, Stoughton Floral, Stoughton Garden Center, Stoughton Hospital, Stoughton Lumber, Stoughton Utilities, The UPS Store, and Zelm Chiropractic.


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You are encouraged to park at the Stoughton High School lot and use the shuttle bus. You may board the shuttle bus without a Booster Button at the SHS parking lot, but you must show your Button from all pickup points at downtown locations.

On street parking with a two-hour limit is available on Main Street and adjacent side streets.

Public Parking lots listed here are also available. Check the signs at each lot for rules about parking.

NORTH SIDE OF MAIN ST.

Senior Center Public Parking Lot: enter from S. Page Street, lot is behind the Senior Center

W. Washington Street Public Parking Lot: enter from S. Water Street, W. Washington Street, or S. Division Street

4th and E. Main St. Public Parking: enter on S. 4th Street or E. Main Street

Disabled Parking: City Hall Parking Lot at 381 E. Main Street. The Festival shuttle stops at this location approximately on Saturday and Sunday approximately every 20 to 30 minutes.

 

SOUTH SIDE OF MAIN ST.

Public Parking Library Lot: enter from S. Fourth Street, adjacent to the Stoughton Library

Public Parking Jefferson St.: 425 E. Jefferson Street at the corner of 6th Street


Continuous service shuttle stops approximately every 20 to 30 minutes:

Saturday, May 19 • 9 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 20 • 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Free parking is available here:

Stoughton High School
600 Lincoln Ave.
Stoughton, WI

Shuttle Stops
Shuttles make a continuous loop from the parking lot at Stoughton High School on Lincoln Avenue to these downtown festival stops:

  1. Stoughton High School • 600 Lincoln Avenue, Parking Lot
  2. Sons of Norway - Mandt Lodge • 317 S. Page Street
  3. Fire Department • 401 E. Main Street
  4. 304 S. Fourth Street - Near the corner of E. Main Street
  5. River Bluff Middle School • Corner of North Street and S. Forrest Street
  6. W. Washington Street near S. Division Street


Let us make some suggestions!

If you’ve never attended a Syttende Mai festival plan your visit by reviewing the complete schedule of events and choosing events that are a must see for you. Expect to park at a distance from downtown and walk to the event, or park at the Stoughton High School parking lot, and take the shuttle.

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Purchase your festival Booster Button to gain entry to festival events such as concerts at the Stoughton Opera House, performances by the Norwegian Dancers, and entry into the Art, Music, and Culture live demonstrations at the Chorus Public House. Visitors must purchase the Booster Button for entry to any of the Stoughton festivals' events.

The festival takes place across Stoughton’s entire Arts & Entertainment District from S. Page Street on the west side of town to the east side at about Fifth Street (about a half mile), north to the River Bluff School Campus, and south to Mandt Park (about 0.7 miles). Most events are found along the Main Street of the historic downtown, but plan on plenty of walking.  

Start early in the day attending events with a definite start time. Then, leave time to find a Norwegian meatball lunch, see the quilt show, visit the Norwegian Heritage Museum, or hear some live fiddle music played on the Hardanger fiddle from Norway.


Dedicated disabled accessible parade viewing is available in the parking lot of the Norwegian Heritage Center. No parking is allowed in the lot.

Sunday, May 20 • 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Norwegian Heritage Center
277 W. Main St.


  •      320 North Street • Near the School Administration Building
  •      W. Washington and S. Division Streets • Near the Festival Tent
  •      W. Main and S. Monroe Streets
  •      W. Main and S. Page Streets
  •      W. Main and Gjertson Streets
  •      S. Fourth and 400 Mandt Parkway • Mandt Park
  •      S. Fourth and E. Main Streets • Near the Stoughton Public Library
  •      S. Division and W. Jeffereson Streets • Near the Craft Beer and Music Tent
  •      S. Fourth and Isham Streets • Near the open lot
  •      S. Division and Forton Streets • Division Street Park
  •      248 W. Main Street • Senior Center Parking Lot

 


  •    Home Savings Bank • 400 W. Main Street
  •    Kwik Trip West • 517 W. Main Street
  •    McFarland State Bank • 207 S. Forrest Street (in the drive-through)
  •    Viking Brew Pub • 211 E. Main Street
  •    River Bluff Middle School Campus Grounds • 320 North Street
  •    Craft Beer and Music Tent • S. Division near W. Jefferson Street
  •    S. Division and W. Washington Streets • Near the Cinema Cafe