Festival '98 Homepage

The Philippines

Río Grande/Río
Bravo Basin

The Baltic Nations

The 1998 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
WISCONSIN: Celebrating
150 Years
of Statehood

Sights and Sounds:

Music & Dance Traditions
Craft Traditions
Occupational & Recreational Traditions
Special Event:
  Tailgate Party

Karl Hartwich
Karl Hartwich of the group Karl and the Country Dutchmen plays German-style polka music on his concertina.
Photo by Hugh Talman


This year's festival was not only a celebration of Wisconsin folklife, it was a celebration of the state’s 150th anniversary. Rich in ethnic diversity, the program offered a variety of cuisine demonstrations, from German sausages to Cornish pasties. Wisconsin crafts included shrine preparations and religious crafts, doll and figurine making, egg decorating, quilting, woodworking, and musical instrument making. The official State Dance, the polka, was represented by four bands, each reflecting a different style: Slovenian, Dutchman, Polish, and Czech. The principal agricultural activities of Wisconsin were presented by cheese and beer makers, ginseng and cranberry growers, Ojibwe Indians processing wild rice, and farm families demonstrating milking and pig showing in a Gambrel-style Wisconsin barn. A highlight of the Festival was the replication of a Green Bay Packer tailgate party, complete with the University of Wisconsin marching band with beer and brats served on the National Mall.