Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy Syttende Mai!

Do they still celebrate Syttende Mai in Stoughton, Wisconsin? They did when I was kid growing up in nearby Middleton, WI. We had our own summertime festival called "The Good Neighbor Festival, " always around the last weekend of summer.  Other small communities had theirs too: Sun Prairie had their "Corn Festival." Waunakee had something called "Volksfest," but that went away. Now I understand they celebrate "Wauktober Fest"? Perhaps Titus can enlighten us. Jefferson, WI had "Gemuetlickeit Days;"  Madison had "May Day" (I kid).

The names suggest a strong European influence which I think is waning fast.

Do people do these kinds of things outside of Wisconsin?


chickelit said...

Oceanside has something called "Harbor Days" but it's pretty small potatoes compared to what they do back east. There is no ethnic unity out here (but also very little division).

edutcher said...

Those are the creation of Germans homesick for der Vaterland.

The Micks do the same with St Paddy's Day, the Chinese with New Year, and the Mexicans with Cinco de Quatro.

Synova said...

In Minnesota, certainly.

We did a whole concert in Norwegian in school one year.

AllenS said...

Yah, you betcha.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm a big fan of maibock.

For some beer enthusiasts, it's the-more-hops-the-better.

Not me.

But I should add that Victory has a beer they call Hop Wallop which is too astringent for me out of the bottle but I've had it cask conditioned and it was damn tasty.

ndspinelli said...

chick, I taught for a year in Stoughton. The high school has the Norwegian Dancers, traditional folk dancers. You would think that would be laughed @ by kids, but it's not. People REALLY get into Syttende de Mai. I have gone and for a dago, a festival is not about dancing, rosemauling, etc. It's about the food. Norwegian food is even worst than English or Irish food.

ndspinelli said...

I've also been to the German fest in Jefferson. MUCH better food.

ndspinelli said...

Madison has the Italian Workmen's Festival annually. The Italian Workmen's Club was in The Bush, the Italian neighborhood in Madison. I worked for Angelo Fraboni when I first started my biz. He was big in setting up the Festival. He always tried to get me join. I do not join clubs or organizations. Italian food in Madison is quite Americanized.