May 17 is Norway's Independence Day. Stoughton has a Norwegian heritage and celebrates Syttende Mai in a big way.
I took the children to visit Stoughton, Wisconsin for the yearly Syttende Mai celebration. I was raised in Stoughton and have missed this special time only a few times. I wanted to share it with the grandchildren. We made a fun day of it. My friend Kristi Brekke joined us.
Taking the back roads from Janesville to Stoughton is much more fun than the Interstate. We did several stops along the way.
First we stopped at the dam in Indianford. There was lots to watch here. The children enjoyed watching the water rush over the dam. There were several people fishing. They asked if we could come fishing here some day.
Further up the road we stopped at the alpaca farm to view all the animals. Besides the fun alpaca we saw horses, a donkey and even a peacock.
Grandma loves these longhorned steers. These babies have yet to grow their horns, but I stop to watch them every time I drive to Stoughton.
Grandma attended the school in the mid 50's - NOT in the 1800's!
Our first stop downtown was at the Norse Nook where author Anne Jacobsen was signing her books. Grandma went to school with Anne so it was fun to get three of her books.
We enjoyed looking at all the wonderful Norwegian items in the store. Wesley and Douglas are looking at the Rosemaling at the Norse Nook.
The lower level of the Norse Nook revealed a lot more fun things. Here Diana poses as a Viking lady!
The children were very excited to find Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka books. These fun books were some that Grandma had enjoyed reading as a little girl. I had found one at a garage sale and told the children about these books and we read the delightful story together. They also had Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr books - the boy versions of these fun books.
Grandma and some of her friends....Grandma, Karen, Kristi, and Anne. We all graduated from Stoughton High School, though not all in the same year.
The children loved the rock and gem store. The owner spent quite a bit of time with us. He taught us much about rocks, gems, and fossils. Here he even let the children hold a "rock" which he later informed them was fossilized dinosaur poop. They wanted to buy it!
There was much to see along the street. Here a lady let them pet her ferret.
One store displayed Norwegian dress items and a doll. Wesley is looking at it.
Wesley gets a good view of the rosemaling and the flags of the US and Norway.
The flower shop was a wonder to our senses. The flowers/plants were so pretty and full of fragrance. The store was a beautiful place to display the pictures of all the former Kings and Queens of Stoughton's Syttende Mai celebrations.
Fosdal's Bakery is a MUST place to stop when in Stoughton. This weekend they put on their finest displays of goodies, including many Norwegian delights. Wesley choose a cream-filled chocolate bismarck (one of Grandma's favorites) and Diana, of course, had to have sprinkles!
The streets were pretty quiet and not much for crowds of people because it was Friday. This will all change on Saturday and Sunday! The streets will be lively with music, Norwegian dancers, people in costumes, food stands, parades and MORE!
Walking back down Main Street to where we parked the van. I didn't notice, but of course Charles did,....we had parked our car right in front of a gun shop. So our last place to visit was this store. The clerk was very patient with the children as they looked at everything in the store. Charles was especially excited as he is our resident hunter-to-be. He had just gotten a BB gun for his birthday in April and was drooling over the many hunting rifles and the trophies on display.
Stoughton...we WILL be back! Next time we will probably face the crowds and come on a busier day to see all the excitement.