Stratford Celebrates Its Heritage

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

It's not every day you see men wearing Leiderhosen walking around Stratford, but then again it's not Heritage Fest in Stratford every day either.

The festival started 16 years ago as a way to salute all the nationalities that make up the small central Wisconsin town, mostly German, Polish, Scandinavian and Irish.

Since then, the event has gone to focusing on one group each year.

"This year we are saluting the German heritage, which means that we are having various German entertainment, dancers, music, etc," said Allie Knoll, Heritage Festival Chairman.

One of those dancing groups is the Wendlstoana, a group from the Milwaukee area that performs at a German fest once a year and gets together every week on their own just for the fun of it.

"The dance that we'll be doing later is called Shoopladler and the Shoopladler is designed to, it's a courting dance," said John Klingseisen of the Wendlstoana German Club.

Along with the Wendlstoana, the Heritage Fest has plenty of beer, a rather exotic petting zoo and fireworks every night.