Items related to downtown Northfield

Fifth Annual Celebrate Dundas Set for June 29-30

Celebrate Dundas Logo

To all who are looking for a good way to spend the last weekend in June, look no further. The Dundas Historical Society is pleased to present the fifth annual Celebrate Dundas community festival, set for Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30. The family-friendly event will celebrate Dundas’ storied history and offer a range of activities for people of all ages.

Michelle Millenacker, president of the Dundas Historical Society and chair of the Celebrate Dundas event, says, “We’ve got a lot on lined up for our celebration this year and we’re really looking forward to seeing people flock to our downtown for the events. In the past, our weather has been all over the map – two years ago, temperatures topped 90 degrees and last year we saw short rainstorm delay some of the late-morning activities. Rain or shine the celebration will go on as planned!”

Public Sculpture Unveiling Celebration

Join us in celebrating of the official unveiling of "The Tree of Knowledge and Delight" on Friday, June 29th at 4:30 on Division St. in front of the Library.  This project, known as the "Young Sculptors Project" has been a close collaboration between Emeritus St. Olaf Professor Mac Gimse and ten Northfield High School students with funding from the South East Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). This grant was written through the auspices of the Arts and Culture Commission.  

This sculpture will be displayed downtown for one year and will then be moved to Northfield high School and sited in an  interior courtyard. This is, we hope, the beginning of a yearly tradition of public art created by professional artists and high school students for years to come. This project aims to link artistic, educational and cultural enrichment together by empowering high school students to create public sculpture and to give the town and its residents and visitors a visual treat. The Arts and Culture Commission feels that the Young Sculptors project has the momentum to raise public awareness about the arts and public sculpture and to signify that Northfield is an “Arts Town” in the truest sense.

First National's Janet Topp Celebrates 50 Years of Service

Janet Topp

This month, Northfield’s own Janet Topp celebrates 50 years of service to First National Bank of Northfield. She began her career after graduating from Northfield High School in 1962. An open house in Topp’s honor is planned for Thursday, June 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the bank’s Downtown location – 329 Division Street.

Topp, who joined First National as a bookkeeper, has seen her responsibilities steadily grow. Today, she serves as a teller supervisor and oversees the bank’s Mainstreeters Club – a nearly 1,000-member social club for customers 55 years of age or older.

She says, “I’ve seen an amazing amount of change in the banking industry – the progression from 10-key adding machines to calculators to computers – and I couldn’t be more proud to have contributed my time and skills to First National. It’s really a great place to work.”

Meet Claire! The first "Reader of the Week!"

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Each week during the Northfield Public Library's summer reading program kids enter a drawing slip for "reader of the week."  The rest of the slips are hung from the library's ceiling to show everyone how many books kids in Northfield are reading.  Claire Casson is the first to recieve the honor that comes with a special "I became a reading animal at the Northfield Public Library" t-shirt courtesy of the Friends and Foundation of the Library.  All reading children- including those who are read to- can add their books in the special summer reading purple tent in the children's area.  Congratulations Claire!

Northfield's Newest Public Art: "Tree of Knowledge and Delight"

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On Wednesday morning, a city crew supervised by T.J. Heinricy and sculptor Mac Gimse was installing Northfield's newest public sculpture, "Tree of Knowledge and Delight" on the Northfield Public Library plaza on the corner of Third and Division Street. The sculpture was a collaboration between Gimse, an ameritus professor of art at St. Olaf College, art students at Northfield High School. The project was funded by the Northfield Arts & Culture Commission and a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). High school art teacher Christie Clarke wrote the successful grant.

Student artist Seth Hanson was on hand for the installation. He says that the sclupture will remain in the plaza for a year, after which it will be moved to the grounds of the high school. The hope is that further grants will result in new student sculptures on the library plaza in the following years.

According to Gimse: "The Tree of Knowledge and Delight... [is] a triumph of youthful exuberance! As an optional, non-credit, extra-curricular project, all the students gave it time they did not have, and work and thought beyond their reckoning. Together with welding by Kris and Scott Swanson, Jane Meyer's bronze casting, timbers and bamboo, and Rick Swearer's willingness to work with everyone, it sprang to life at NHS Gate #13....”

Girl Scouts Celebrate 100th Anniversary at Northfield Historical Society



Come to the Northfield Historical Society Thursday, June 28 from 5-9 p.m. for a centennial celebration of the Girl Scouts of the USA.  The event kicks off the Society’s exhibit “Northfield Girl Scouts -Then and Now,” which will run through mid-August.

Host of the event is the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys in Northfield. Starting at 5 p.m., local Girl Scouts dressed in vintage uniforms will be on Bridge Square with songs, activities and demonstrations. Spectators can try their hand at tying a square knot or learning how to use signal flags.  Beginning at 7, the Community Band will feature favorite Girl Scout songs.

Taste of Northfield returns this Thursday


The 7th Annual Taste of Northfield returns Thursday, June 14th, in downtown Northfield. The event will take place on Bridge Square from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Bring your taste buds to this feast! Whether you’re an epicurean or just know a good burger when you bite into one, this event is sure to meet your cravings. There’s also a James Gang bank raid re-enactment, beer & wine tent, silent auction, raffle for $1000.00, and plenty of family-friendly activities — fun for all ages! Live music from the Northfield Community Band, the Rice Country Roosters, and the Big Wu will add to the lively scene, plus dancing in the streets into the night!

A real "star" in children's music will entertain us at Books & Stars- Justin Roberts!

“A master of conjuring up images that resonate with the young ones.” — Entertainment Weekly

“He has a remarkable ability to see through a child’s eyes... the Judy Blume of kiddie rock” — New York Times

“Hands down the best songwriter in the genre.” — USA Today

Bodies spring to their feet and rush the stage; jumping, dancing and bouncing off each other like bumper cars. The concertgoers behave like children. This should come as no surprise, because they are children, participating in the kiddie mosh pit found at nearly every Justin  Roberts concert.

Marc Reigel & Friends at Contented Cow Thursday Evening

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Susan Hvistendahl invites all to come to the Contented Cow next Thursday, June 14 at 8 p.m. for an oldies rock and roll sing-along with Marc Reigel.  He had a band called the Night Crawlers at Carleton in the 60s and has had four other popular sing-alongs here since then.

Part of Taste of Northfield, this is a chance for all ages to come together to sing classic songs of the 50s and 60s, from the Beatles, Everly Brothers, and Elvis, to Buddy Holly.

Goodbye Old Friend!

Coming down June 7, 2012




The time has come to say "goodbye" to a loyal library patron.  The old maple tree on the south side of the library came down today, safely with no damage to the library, cars or people!  Here are some pictures of the tree's life at the library.

Weekend Happenings: May 25-27, 2012

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Friday begins a weekend full of music. The Cow is hosting Carey Langer (5-7pm) followed by Spruce Top Review (8-10:30pm) and Fred the Bear (11pm-1am). Art Vandalay is playing the Tavern Lounge (8-11:30pm).

Saturday's gigs begin with Lingua Luna (1-4pm) and Reno Sweeney (5-8pm) at Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls. The Cow is hosting Joe Kroc and Nate Johnson (5-7pm) followed by Pot Luck and the Hot Dishes (8-10:30pm). Bonnie & the Clydes are playing the Tavern Lounge (8-11:30pm). 

On Sunday The Average Janes are playing Cannon River Winery (2-5pm).

Why is it important for kids to read over the summer?

The theme for TEENS- kids going into 6th grade and up is "WE OWN THE NIGHT"

Reading for pleasure is one of the building blocks for young people to grow into healthy, productive adults.

Fourth grade students who read for fun every day score the highest on reading assessment tests.

When the act of reading extends beyond the schoolroom and becomes part of daily life, ongoing literacy is on its way to becoming a reality. Students who read for fun on their own and talk about their reading with family and friends on a weekly basis had higher average test scores than students who never or rarely read for fun and who talk about their books with family and friends less than once a month.

Public library programming and books for children make a difference.

First Sidewalk Poems Installed

Crews were out this morning (Wednesday, May 16) installing the first of Northfield's sidewalk poems in the vicinity of the Northfield Public Library. The poems are winners of the first Sidewalk Public Poetry Contest in 2011, which was sponsored by the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library and the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission. As of noon, two of the poems had been installed, one on the Third Street side of the library (pictured, right), and one on the Division Street side. Places have been prepared for two more poems, another in front of the library, and one across the street in front of the Archer House. According to a member of the Arts and Culture Commission, downtown business owners have been enthusiastic about having the poems in front of their businesses.

For more good photographs of the installation, see the story on Northfield Patch.

Come to the library to see "Mixed Nuts!" and help the us kick off the 2012 Summer Reading Program.

"Mixed Nuts"

The school year's end is approaching fast!  The Northfield Public Library's summer reading program is just around the corner!  It's so important for children to read during the summer to help keep their skills fresh and help eliminate "summer reading loss" for the next school year. To help kick of the 2012 "DREAM BIG-READ! summer reading program- some crazy people will entertain us all on Saturday, May 19th at 11 am.  We will be outside on the Washington Street side of the library, or if the weather is not cooperating we will be in the meeting room.  "Mixed Nuts" has tickled funny bones throughout the region with its special blend of hilarious hijinks, guaranteed to produce side-splitting laughter! 

Northfield Depot Has a New Home


In 2010 the Save the Northfield Depot(STND) organized to coordinate and promote the effort to preserve Northfield’s 1888 rail depot.  The Northfield City Council advanced those preservation efforts significantly on March 20, 2012, when it approved an historic agreement to sell a parcel of City-owned land to Save the Northfield Depotfor $1. The agreement paves the way for moving the depot from its current location on railroad property to a new location on the “Q-Block,” where a restored depot will serve as an anchor for redevelopment.

“The depot now needs the public’s help to ensure its survival,” noted Lynn Vincent, co-chair of Save the Northfield Depot

With the completion of thepurchase agreement for the city land, STND will focus on raising the funds needed to renovate the depot and move it to its new location. A total of $500,000 will be needed to complete the project, but the first $300,000 must be raised within 18 months in order to demonstrate to the City that sufficient progress has been made toward that goal. Donors wishing to join the effort to meet this deadline and assure the depot’s survival can make a secure, tax-deductible donation via the STND website ( or send to STND, Treasurer, at 712 4th St. E., Northfield.

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