Sit back and enjoy our tour by themes – and discover the many varieties of cultural expressions in our county. If you’re interested in farming, explore hog, spinach, tobacco, and dairy farms, and don’t forget the farmers’ co-op and farmers’ market. For other foodways, join us for an afternoon tea, a potluck at a volunteer fire station, a dinner at a Lutheran church, or pastries at a Norwegian restaurant; watch meat being processed and cheese being made; help make and eat Hmong eggrolls; and finish it off with samples at one of America’s premier chocolate shops. Enjoy the arts? Then check out the wooden trolls, metal sculptures, rosemaling, quilts, lace making, sign painting, historical buildings, tombstone designs, storytelling, and ethnic music, gospel songs, and jazz.
Everywhere we saw Dane County at work. Consider the occupations we documented: auctioneer, butcher, farmer, cheese maker, restaurateur, storekeeper, well-digger, sign maker, TV producer, and volunteer firemen and community historians. And Dane County knows how to play! We observed recreation at a sportsmen’s club and a midget car racetrack, played cards with seniors at their center, and danced the polka with other 4th graders.
Ready to pay attention to religion? Then go with us to a small hillside Catholic chapel, a Lutheran church, a Jewish synagogue, and a Buddhist temple. Don’t forget the gospel music we listened to and the cemetery where we observed a variety of religious and ethnic burial traditions. And if you want to witness community, visit an ethnic restaurant, community festival, Hmong wedding, and volunteer fire department, or tour every site in a single town to see how they connect with each other to form local communities.