While enjoying all the Syttende Mai sights and delicious foods, don’t forget to experience the music, dance, and theater performances. Be sure to catch a Norwegian Dancer performance to experience Scandinavian folk dancing. Attend a Stoughton Village Players theatrical performance written and performed by local actors who are expert at presenting the humorous side of life in Stoughton. Be sure to seek out a Hardanger fiddle performance to see and hear these beautiful instruments up close.
The 2019 Schedule has not been set. Here’s a list of 2018 performances to check out.
Chorus Public House Live Music
154 W. Main Street
Fykerud'n Spelemannslag Hardanger Fiddle Group
This group of musicians play the Hardanger fiddle, Norway’s national instrument. Strung with eight or nine strings instead of a violin’s usual four strings, the richly decorated Hardanger fiddle has a haunting, resonant quality. Film goers might recognize its sound from the movie Fargo’s main theme or from the Lord of the Rings movies’ soundtracks.
Andreas Transø • Hardanger Fiddle Player
Hailing originally from Boscobel, Andreas is a local Stoughton musician who is a regular performer and educator at festivals and concert halls nationwide. Andreas will perform Norwegian and Scandinavian music.
Christ Lutheran Church
700 County Road B
Edvard Grieg Chorus
The Edvard Grieg Chorus returns to Christ Lutheran Church to participate in the annual Norwegian Church Service.
Craft Beer and Music Tent
On S. Division Street, south of Main Street
Stone Barone and the Madtones
This Madison based 10 member ensemble plays everything from Funk, R&B, Soul, Motown, Pop, and Contemporary Jazz.
The Old Tin Can String Band
The Old Tin Can String Band, a southern Wisconsin favorite, plays classic and contemporary bluegrass, and old-timey and Celtic songs, with a few originals thrown into the mix. Members are Chris Powers (mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, guitar), Shauncey Ali (a fiddle phenom who won the 2016 Rocky Grass fiddle competition), Pat Spaay (guitar and banjo), and Bruce Anderson (upright bass), a lifelong Stoughton resident.
Piano Fondue has been playing the dueling pianos show for over a decade.The entertainers are musical marvels and will be ready to take your song requests to get your toes tapping, hands clapping, and bodies moving all night long!
Stoughton City Band Concert
Enjoy the sound of the Stoughton City Band in Division Street Park during the canoe race portage.
Stoughton Norwegian Dancers
Since 1952, the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers have been a local treasure. Clad in traditional Norwegian costumes, or bunad, and dancing to music from the fjords, the troupe’s colorful and captivating performances are in demand nationwide. The Dancers perform during the festival weekend in their bunad, or traditional Norwegian costumes, while they dance to Scandinavian folk songs.
Stoughton Opera House
381 E. Main Street
The Opera House is open for tours on Saturday, May 19 from 9am to 5pm except during performances.
Sid Boersma and Hardanger Friends
Sid is a Hardanger Fiddle player and fiddle teacher from Stoughton, Wisconsin. He has been playing this beautiful instrument for more years than he chooses to admit. He also plays bluegrass but prefers Norwegian music, and is interested in keeping the Hardanger fiddling tradition alive and well.
Edvard Grieg Chorus
The Edvard Grieg Chorus of Madison, Wisconsin, takes its name from the famous Norwegian composer, and many Grieg’s compositions are included in the Chorus’ repertoire. The Chorus was founded on Jan. 26, 1925 and was originally known as the Grieg Mannskor, or Grieg Men’s Chorus.
While Norwegian songs are the primary focus of the Chorus, sacred and secular songs are included in its repertoire.
The Yellow Boat
Presented by the Stoughton Center for the Performing Arts, The Yellow Boat is based on the true story of David and Sonja Saar's son, Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia, and died in 1987 at the age of 8 of AIDS related complications. A uniquely gifted visual artist, Benjamin's buoyant imagination transformed his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of colors and shapes in his fanciful drawings and paintings.
A Scandinavian folksong tells of three little boats: "One was blue, one was red, and one was yellow as the sun. They sailed far out to sea. The blue one returned to the harbor. The red one sailed home too. But the yellow boat sailed up to the sun." Benjamin always concluded his bedtime ritual by saying, "Mom, you can be the red boat or the blue boat, but I am the yellow boat.”
Recommended for children ages 8 and older, parents, families and adults.
Stoughton Village Players Theater
255 E. Main Street
Lena Takes the Cake (Lena Tar Kaken) or Man with the Saggin' Tattoo
The 2018 show was all about the Stoughton Bake-off competition which had been won by Ole’s Aunt Hilda so many times that they cancelled it. Now that she has passed away, all the townspeople are searching for her winning recipe... in all the wrong places. Further complications enter from Stoughton’s crack team of investigative reporters looking for a scoop on a big secret that will make a big splash in town. You can expect ridiculous, not-too-bright characters, unbelievable plot twists and lots of joking about Stoughton and Norwegians.