Stoughton’s ‘winter day out’ approaches with first Destination Weekend of 2016

Photo submitted. The 2015-16 Norwegian Dancers team will perform at the Norse Afternoon of Fun Feb. 14 at the Stoughton High School gym.

The Norwegian Dancers may be the headliners of the Norse Afternoon of Fun yet again, but Stoughton’s first Destination Weekend of the year will feature plenty of other events for residents and visitors to explore.

Before the main event starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 in the Stoughton High School gymnasium, Stoughtonites and their guests can participate in the Stoughton Lions Club’s annual beer tasting, stop by the Nordic Nook for a lecture on Norwegian baking or browse Norwegian-themed art at AmundArt Hus, 194 Main St.

Darlene Arneson, president of the Sons of Norway – Mandt Lodge, says the variety of activities can help draw people to visit Stoughton for the entire weekend, rather than perhaps just stopping in for the dancers’ performance alone.


Photos: Fox Prairie Working For Kids family fun night

Fox Prairie Working For Kids held a family fun night at the elementary school on Friday, Jan. 29, featuring an inflatable obstacle course, bouncy house, dunk tank, face painting and food. 


Stoughton native to perform with Madison opera

Stoughton native Jeni Houser returns to Madison this week for two performances with the Madison Opera in its production of “Little Women.”

Houser will sing the role of Amy March in Mark Adamo’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s popular novel.

The novel follows Jo March and her sisters Meg, Beth and Amy as they come of age in New England. The opera, first performed in 1998, focuses on the moments when the sisters leave home and become adults, centering on Jo as she clings to her idealistic family life and tries to prevent things from changing.

Houser has been singing with the Minnesota Opera this season, and returned about two weeks ago to begin rehearsing for “Little Women.”


District residents invited for ‘Fab Lab’ workshops beginning in February

Photo submitted. Stoughton High School junior Owen Roe works on a remote-controlled car during Governor Scott Walker’s visit to the Fab Lab in October.

For adult residents in the Stoughton Area School District who have ever wanted to know more about the latest in digital fabrication, next month provides a chance to do just that. 

The district offers monthly Adult Fab Lab Workshops on Saturdays open to the community, and the next one is set for 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 20. People must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the district to participate, however. 


Stoughton Opera House's upcoming schedule features diverse performers

Photos submitted. Singer-songwriter Sierra Hull returns to the Opera House Saturday, Feb. 20. Hull released her first album at 16 and has since played in the White House, the Kennedy Center and twice in Carnegie Hall.

The Stoughton Opera House’s spring season gets underway Friday with a sold-out show featuring some of the state’s top acoustic musicians: Willy Porter, Peter Mulvey, Bill Camplin and Randy Sabien.

The fact that season’s first show – along with 11 others – has already sold out could be a hint to fans of the venue: Get your tickets soon.

Opera House events coordinator Christina Dollhausen and director Bill Brehm have booked 38 shows between now and June 10, when Bach Dancing and Dynamite wrap up the season. (Then make way for the Catfish River Music Festival.)

The first half of 2016 features lots of bluegrass, but there’s also Cajun music, Indian and classical music, and lots of Americana.

“The season is heavy on bluegrass,” Dollhausen acknowledged Tuesday. “It’s just how it worked out with the booking. We knew whom we wanted to come, and those are the times they were able to come through here.


Submit your Groundhog Day snowstorm photos

We want to see your photos of Tuesday's winter storm! So when you're building a snowman or shoveling the driveway, bring a camera along with you and send us your best shots.


CPR training offered at Feb. 2 Stoughton High School basketball game

Spectators cheering on the Vikings varsity boys basketball team next Tuesday can also leave the game with a new skill – the ability to possibly save a life.

In honor of February Heart Health Month, the “Rebound a Life” training program will begin at 6 p.m. during halftime of the game at Stoughton High School, 600 Lincoln Ave. The varsity girls basketball team, along with members of the SHS Key Club, will offer instruction on Compression Only CPR (COCPR). Staff members of the Stoughton Hospital trained the students in the method, which is “similar to CPR, but without the mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths,” according to a hospital press release.


2015 Citizen of the Year: Diebel has knack for writing, paddling, collaborating

Photo by Samantha Christian. Lynne Diebel is the co-owner of Wild Alphabet, an art business that compiles and sells photographs of natural objects resembling letters or numbers.

Inertia, Lynne Diebel joked, is part of what has kept her in Stoughton for more than 40 years. But the 67-year-old is anything but motionless. 

When the ice thaws this spring you’ll likely find her canoeing area waterways. And then she might write about it. 

In the last decade, Lynne has authored five books about paddling trips she’s taken with her husband, Bob, spanning thousands of miles throughout Wisconsin and her home state of Minnesota. 

Her connection with a particular body of water – the nearby Badfish Creek – and contributions to other local causes led the Hub to choose Lynne as the 2015 Citizen of the Year.


Livsreise to welcome UW-Madison professor for presentation Saturday

The Livsreise – Norwegian Heritage Center will commence a new year of cultural programming with a visit from UW-Madison professor Tom DuBois this Saturday. 

DuBois, who serves as the Halls-Bascom professor of the university’s Department of Scandinavian Studies, will lead a presentation titled “Telling of Norway: The Stories that Norwegians Use(d) to Shape Their World” from 1-2 p.m. at the center, located at 277 W. Main St.

The presentation will venture into 19th century storytelling, rooted in both folklore and realism; a period of widespread emigration to North America. Some stories explore the supernatural world, DuBois told the Hub, while others mull the concerns of leaving the homeland and its localized culture for the unfamiliarity of America.


Stoughton Public Library winter story times starting this month

Photo by Samantha Christian. Stoughton Public Library children’s librarian Amanda Bosky said one of her most requested children’s books to read is “Tickle Monster.”

The winter may be cooling things down outside, but at the library, things are just getting warmed up for a season of reading, learning and fun. 

The Stoughton Public Library is starting its annual winter/spring storytime sessions next week. Storytimes for children 5 years old and younger are 10 a.m. on Wednesdays from Jan. 27 through March 30, and 9:30 a.m. Fridays from Jan. 29 through April 1. 

During the sessions, kids will be able to enjoy “circle time,” stories, songs, crafts and early literacy activities. No pre-registration is required.

For more information on winter/spring story time, call 873-6281, visit or read Stoughton Public Library children’s librarian Amanda Bosky’s column in the Hub this Thursday.


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