Sarah Ebert


Since we closed Syttende Mai 2022, I’ve been reflecting on what traditions our community experienced together over that weekend.

This was my second in-person Syttende Mai as President of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce. Last year, we had a modified version where we brought back festival activities allowed by the restrictions. This year was my first full festival.

As a lifelong resident of Stoughton, the Festival is a part of many wonderful memories and traditions. Seeing the biggest event for our city and the chamber as Chamber President, I appreciate a new perspective on what this Chamber Event means for Stoughton and all of the work that goes into pulling it off.

Like many attendees, I normally experience Syttende Mai in a series of individual events. This year, I witnessed the massive scale of those individual events coming together. Over 5,000 buttons were sold across nine button stands.

We hosted a parade that lasted over 90 minutes with 70 floats. There were 30-plus events over the weekend starting as early as 6am and lasting until 9 p.m.

None of this would be possible without a core group of volunteers, network of organizations, businesses and individuals coming together. It will probably take me until Syttende Mai 2023 to properly thank everyone for their contributions to the festival. That is how many different people make this happen.

It isn’t just one business, one non-profit, one alumni group or one city service. I recently heard that a past Chamber President called Syttende Mai the weekend where we showcase the best that Stoughton has to offer.

When I first heard it, I thought it was all about the events of the weekend. Now that I have had a front row seat on the execution of the festival, so much of the best that Stoughton has to offer happens behind the scenes, too.

There is one person that deserves to be recognized by name. Callie LaPoint, Event & Visitor Services Manager, put her heart and soul into Syttende Mai. She started her days early and ended them late.

She made it a family affair by recruiting her hard-working husband and energetic daughter. Thank you, Callie! Your hard work is impressive. You are an excellent ambassador for the Chamber and Stoughton.

If you are a part of a business, organization or are personally interested in becoming part of the Syttende Mai network, the door to the Chamber of Commerce is always open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sarah Ebert is the president of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce.

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