Events in and around Northfield

Shara Worden and yMusic in Exclusive Performance of Sarah Kirkland Snider's "Penelope" in Northfield


On Thursday evening, February 28, at 8:00 in the college chapel, Carleton College will present the only area performance of vocalist Shara Worden and New York-based yMusic in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope. yMusic was sheduled to perform in a second performance on Wednesday night in St. Paul as part of the SPCO’s Liquid Music series, but withdrew from the performance due to the ongoing SPCO labor dispute.

Calling Snider’s work “a gorgeous piece of music,” Pitchfork critic Jayson Greene writes: “The quietly devastating song cycle Penelope begins with an unexpected homecoming. A man returns to his wife's doorstep after 20 years in an unnamed war, suffering brain damage—a shadow of his former self. The woman takes this mournful figure in gravely, sorting through her ambivalence, bitterness, and grief by reading to him from Homer's Odyssey. The story’s parallels to their lives—a husband striving heroically over vast distances and years to return to his wife—become a psychological probe for the woman to sound the depths of her shell-shocked husband’s ruined mind. Speaking to him through the poem, she is able to gently coax him back from oblivion.”

Community Bands Strike Up Again

Independent Silver Band

This year the Vintage Band Festival will observe the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States, a tumultuous time in American history, but also a time when musical activity grew quickly and hugely among the citizens. Many new bands formed during those years to meet the ceremonial and entertainment needs of the troops, both Union and Confederate. As the war ended and the military musicians returned home, they brought with them an appetite for band music that spawned an explosion in town bands all over the country.

Many among us grew up attending band concerts in the village square, often at a bandstand. This was the main entertainment of the week in many communities, and these concerts helped to develop generations of music listeners and prompted the inclusion of band music in the public schools. Still today, in communities like Northfield, New Prague, Cannon Falls, and Faribault, weekly band concerts can be heard on a summer evening.

The Vintage Band Festival celebrates this important music-making by inviting several community bands from Minnesota to share their music on Aug. 1-4.

An Evening of Music with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet


Please join us Saturday, February 23 at 7pm for an evening of music by the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, the second of our events honoring retiring Library Director Lynne Young. With passion, style, and musical sophistication borrowing from the best chamber music and string quartet traditions, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet is one of the world's leading guitar ensembles.

Carleton Students Present Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues;" Proceeds Benefit The Hope Center

V-Day 2013

Carleton College will present its annual student-produced and performed production of Even Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. The public is invited and there is a suggested donation of $5 to $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit The Hope Center in Faribault and the V-Day Spotlight Campaign (, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Auxiliary book fair dates announced

The Northfield Hospital Auxiliary will hold its 52st annual Great Northfield, Minnesota Book Raid Tuesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 27, at the Northfield Ice Arena.
Donations can be made at the ice arena, beginning Monday, April 1. Hours are: 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday,  April 1-5; 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 8-19; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13; and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 20.
Over the years the book fair has raised more than half a million dollars for projects at Northfield Hospital & Clinics and for other community health initiatives, such as HealthFinders. These funds also support the Northfield Hospital Auxiliary’s health education scholarship program.

Northfield Montessori Open House

Northfield Montessori is excited to be preparing for our 16th year of educating and caring for infant through Kindergarten aged children in the Northfield area.  Please join us at 340 Montessori Court on either February 25 from 6pm-8pm or March 2 from 10am-12pm and see what has made Northfield Montessori the leader in child care and preschool since 1997.  Our program embraces the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori in an environment where “Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

Corruption & the Dark Side of Left Wing Populism in Argentina under the Kirchners

You are invited to hear “Corruption and the Dark Side of Left Wing Populism in Argentina under the Kirchners,” by Luigi Manzetti, Professor of Political Science, Southern Methodist University, on Friday, February 22, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. Reception to follow. This Wynia Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public.

Carleton Cowling Arboretum Teams Up with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership to Screen Acclaimed Award-Winning Documentary Film


Carleton College will present a special public screening of the acclaimed Emmy Award-winning documentary film, “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time,” on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. The screening is sponsored by Carleton’s Cowling Arboretum and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, a Northfield-based volunteer organization that works toward “protecting and improving the water quality and natural systems of the Cannon River watershed.” This event is free and open to the public.

“Green Fire” is the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold. Influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation, the film explores Leopold’s life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his ‘land ethic’ continues to be applied all over the world today.

Rice County Horticulture Day Will Be Magical

Magical Gardens

The Rice County Master Gardeners Horticulture Day promises to be magical this year, with talks on roses, fairy gardens, peonies and garden trends on tap. The annual event will be held Saturday, March 2, at Buntrock Commons on the campus of St. Olaf College. 

The theme of this year's event is "Garden Magic" and the program includes four garden pros with many tips and ideas to share. Presenters include:

Bishop Whipple's Role in War of 1862 Topic of Northfield Historical Society Program


On Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, writer and church historian The Venerable Canon Benjamin Scott will speak on the role Bishop Henry Whipple played in the 1882 U. S. Dakota War. This event is part of the Northfield Historical Society’s seven-month observation of the 1862 war which includes an exhibit depicting the roles local Rice County residents played in this episode of our state’s history.

Whipple was Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop.  He came to this state in 1859 with his wife Cornelia and six children.  When the fighting broke out in August of 1862 Whipple returned home from Northern Minnesota as fast as possible.  He had seen the conflict coming since the signing of the Treaty Traverse des Sioux when many promises were broken.  He went to St. Peter were many injured were taken and he served as nurse and chaplain.

The Northfield Historical Society presents “Hops, Grapes & History,” a benefit event featuring a performance by “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash

Hops, Grapes & History

The Northfield Historical Society presents “Hops, Grapes & History,” a benefit event on Saturday, March 2 at the Grand Event Center in Northfield.

The evening includes a beer and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a hand-selected variety of Minnesota craft beers and wines; hors d’oeuvres; and a silent auction with a chance to bid on numerous goods and services from local businesses. Then from 9 to 11:30 p.m., the event concludes with a not-to-be-missed performance of “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash, performed by legendary guitarist Bob Wootten (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash’s band for over thirty years) and country rockers, Six Mile Grove.

Artist Tom Frank Debuts Children’s Video Storybook


Bridging the gap between an artist’s childhood dream and the retelling of this story years later is a new video storybook by author and illustrator Tom Frank titled, “It Happened One Night on the Milky Way Trail.”

An exhibit revealing the electronic talking storybook and the process of making it will be held at the Paradise Center for the Arts in Faribault, February 26 through April 16. A family-friendly artist’s reception with kids’ activities and live acoustics by the ebook’s musicians will be held March 1, from 5-7 p.m. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to view Tom Frank’s creative process - from hand drawing characters, to developing a storyboard, to writing copy and adding colorized scenes to the finished product.

Charlie Stark Is At It Again: Solarize Northfield

In 2008 Metro Transit awarded Charlie Stark with Commuter of the Year and again in 2012 they recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Now Stark is at it again.

Stark made the transition to solar four years ago when he purchased a 7kW solar array for his Northfield home. He received incredible incentives from the State of Minnesota and Xcel Energy, along with a generous Tax Credit from the federal government. His experience prompted him to look further into solar. Now Stark is helping other Northfield Residents go solar for a fraction of the price by teaming up with a Minnesota Solar installer.

David Gergen, Political Commentator and Former Presidential Adviser, to Present Carleton Convocation

David Gergen

David Gergen, a Harvard University professor and senior political analyst for CNN who served during the administrations of four U.S. presidents, will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, Feb. 8. Gergen will talk about his thirty-plus years of experience as a political insider and his views on leadership in American political life. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at

Working for Justice and Peace - 5th Annual Northfield Peace and Justice Gathering

Bring your whole family to the Northfield Peace and Justice Gathering on February 24.  Join the festivities as we celebrate how local, national and international peace and justice efforts are being done in the Northfield area.  The community event will feature the music groups Bonnie and the Clydes and the Northfield Troubadors Youth Choir.  More than 20 organizations will share their work for justice and peace, including Northfield High School's Build Bridges, Not Walls.  There will be storytelling, face painting, a chance to make a peace pole, and experience walking the peace path and more.  A nursery will be provided for very young children.  This Gathering offers something for everyone!

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