Events in and around Northfield

First UCC Sesquicentennial Block Party and Auction

We’re celebrating 150 years!

And the whole Northfield community is invited.

In celebration of our years of mission and ministry, First United Church of Christ will be hosting a block party and auction on Saturday, October 7. Festivities will begin at 2 p.m. at the First UCC, located at 300 Union St. There will be food, music and activities for children.

What would keep Northfield a livable community?

Editor's note: We don't usually promote events outside Northfield. But there have been so many discussions recently on this topic, we thought it was relevant. 

On Thursday, September 21, AIA (American Institute of Architects) Minnesota will present "Livable Communities - A Town Hall Forum" for mayors, civic leaders, architects and design professionals, exploring livable communities and encouraging dialogues for creating them in Minnesota.

The AIA Minnesota kickoff event to AIA national’s sesquicentennial (AIA150) in 2007, aims to begin the larger picture discussion and education on livable communities.  By defining the term “livable communities” not only for civic leaders and architects, but also for the media and public in Minnesota, we hope to have far-reaching effects on communities.  A host of perspectives from AIA National, AIA Honolulu, the city awarded most livable in 2004 by the United Nations endorsed International Awards for Livable Communities; Minnesota mayors and AIA Minnesota’s Minnesota Design Team, will provide the depth and broad exploration of the subject necessary to bring creative, sustainable ideas to Minnesota communities.

Valley Grove Country Social is Sunday, Sept. 17

Nordic Jam at Valley GroveNorthfield's Nordic Jam will be performing at tomorrow's Valley Grove Country Social, sponsored by the Valley Grove Preservation Society. In addition to music, this annual event also features wagon rides, prairie walks, farm animals, food and more family-friendly fun. It's a great way to celebrate the last full weekend of the summer!

For more information, visit

Doug Bratland is a member of Nordic Jam. 

Sunday's 'Bark in the Park' to raise funds for new dog park

Submitted by Amy Gage

Canines at Play (CAP) is sponsoring a fund-raising event called “Bark in the Park” on Sunday, Sept. 18, from noon to 4 p.m. at Riverside Park in Northfield. The event is intended to raise money for the city’s first off-leash dog park, which will be located in Babcock Park at Highway 3 and Woodley Street.

Bark in the Park is a family- and dog-friendly event that will feature a canine dance troupe, a sample obedience class and Tellington Touch, a type of massage intended to calm animals during stressful situations. Food and other family-style entertainment, including a “Picture Your Pet in the Park” photo booth, also will be available.

The event is free, but free-will donations are strongly encouraged to help CAP move closer to its $10,000 fund-raising goal.

The Northfield City Council gave final approval to the first off-leash dog park during its meeting on Sept. 11. CAP Chairman Rich Lorang, a local veterinarian, and First National Bank executive Rick Estenson, also a CAP volunteer, presented the plans.

Take a 'Run in the Wild' at Maltby Nature Center

The Maltby Nature Preserve is hosting the third annual “A Run In The Wild” 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, October 7.

Bring the whole family and join the fun to support the science education programs of The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve. Enjoy a beautiful fall day and run or walk the trails through the prairie and woods, around the ponds and along the river. Even your family dog is welcome, on a leash.

We'll have free food, beverages, t-shirts, and prizes! Entry fee is $12 before September 30. For more details, click the image at left to view a poster for the event (PDF). For registration forms and other information, visit or call 507-664-0770.

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve is 90 acre wildlife sanctuary located just outside of Randolph on the banks of the Cannon River . It is a non-profit, educational organization teaching the science of nature and the nature of science.

CRWP hosts Paddle Event & Fundraiser Saturday

The Cannon River Splash is a fund-raising event for the Cannon River Watershed Partnership that happens this Saturday, Septrmber 16. Proceeds will be used to fund activities to protect and improve surface and groundwater resources of the Cannon River Watershed. Please download the attached Cannon River Splash flyer (PDF) to uncover details and to register, or to sponsor a paddler.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFWhew!  The concessionaires are gone, the streets are open and we are free to move around town again.

Not that we didn't have fun at DJJD, but . . .

Lots to do on this fall weekend. Friday night the new exhibit at the Northfield Arts Guild opens.  "Melange" features the work of Rhonda Banks, Toni Easterson, Sharol Nau and Riki Kolbl Nelson.  The opening reception is Friday night, from 7-9 p.m.  NAG is also hosting 'Coffeehouse Writer's Night' on Friday at the Center for the Arts on Division Street.  Local writers are invited to read their works in an open mike setting starting at 7:30 p.m.

Mill Towns Trail group to focus on Northfield Wednesday

Submitted by Peggy Prowe. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, we'll meet at 6:30 p.m. at Dundas City Hall. Hope you can come help discuss the Downtown beautification project, Northfield Trail head dilemmas and Waterford bridge development.

We'll also celebrate the Jesse James Rotary Bike Tour, which so many of you helped with or rode in. In all, 1,091 people registered to ride. With this 2006 tour, Rotary will complete its 10-year commitment to give matching funds for the federal funds for Northfield trailhead construction next year.

Thank you for all the support.

Peggy Prowe is a member of the Mill Towns Trail board. 

"Dinner On Us" Membership Drawing

Week Ten Drawing:  The Contented Cow

We are proud to announce that our 10th "Dinner On Us" gift certificate is for $50 to the Contented Cow.  Yes, that's 10 weeks of winners, enjoing 10 weeks of dinners at our favorite Northfield restaurants.

And you can join them, just by joining us. But hurry, because this party can't go on forever.

By becoming a member of you will be entered into the next Dinner On Us membership drawing.  The deadline for this week is noon on September 17, with the winner being announced on Monday, September 18.

You don't have to contribute to enter, and if you don't win, your name will be forwarded to the next week's drawing. That means you'll have several chances to win.

To sign up now, just go to the New Member page. The suggested donation is $20 per year per person. Of course, if you'd like to suggest a higher number, we'd be thrilled and very grateful.

DJJD fun lives on in our photo galleries

The Defeat of Jesse James Days are over, but the fun lives on here.

David Perez, Adam Gurno and others have added over 200 photos of the various events to our Defeat of Jesse James Days 2006 Photo Gallery.

Griff Wigley sent us links to his own gallery of the Budweiser Clydesdales, another of the Prairie Creek Group playing up a storm at the Contented Cow, and a photo set from the Jesse James Rotary Bike Tour

We have photos of the parade, the bank robbery re-enactment, even some shots of the James Gang's private hideout along the Cannon River, near downtown, where the re-enactors camped in between events.  

Learn more about Medicare's 'doughnut hole' Thursday

Peter MeidalSeniors’ opinions concerning Medicare part D are slowly coming in and the results are mixed.  Some seniors are happy with their plans and boast savings on prescription drug costs, while others—particularly seniors who have expensive drugs—have found the plans confusing and costly.

If you want to find out more information about the "doughnut hole" or cutting your prescription drug costs, attend my presentation at the Northfield Public Library on Thursday, September 14, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. I will be presenting information and answering questions as part of my role at the Minnesota Senior Federation as an AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer.

Part of the confusion associated with Part D is the doughnut hole.  Some Medicare supplemental plans cover expenses through the donut hole and some do not.  The doughnut hole is reached when Medicare Part D has paid $2,250 toward the beneficiary cost of prescription drugs; this includes deductibles, co-payments, and the cost of the drug.  The beneficiary is then responsible for the out-of-pocket costs covering their drugs until a total of $5,100 is reached (that total includes the $2,250 that has already been spent). 

Fall library story times resume soon!

After the big kids go to school we will be resuming our story times for little ones at the Northfield Public Library.

The programs, which are free and open to all, begin Wednesday, September 13.

  • “I like books!” preschool story time returns on September 13.  We will have two story times each week: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. for ages 3 to 5 with caregiver.
  • “Patty Cake, Patty Cake” Infant Lapsit returns Tuesday, September 19 at 10 a.m. for children 6 to 24 months.
  • Our on-going FIRST STEPS Early Literacy Center is open Monday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 10a.m. – noon.  It features hands-on fun and learning for children 6 months to 5 years! 
  • “Merlin Mondays” is a boys-only book group that meets Monday evenings at 7 p.m.  New members are always welcome. 

Watch for updates on when the following activities resume:

  • Saturday morning Carleton ACT Student’s story hour 
  • Adventure Girls, St. Olaf Honor house's girls only book group. 

Library programs are free and open to all.  For special needs or more information please call 645-6606 or visit Northfield Public Library website.

DJJD is in full swing, so have fun - and send us the photos

The Defeat of Jesse James Days are in full swing. David Perez, Adam Gurno and others have added dozens of photos of the rodeo, kids' events and the bright lights of the midway. And Griff Wigley sent us his photo gallery of the Budweiser Clydesdales and this gallery of the Prairie Creek folks playing up a storm at the Contented Cow.

You can add your photos by following the simple directions's as easy as sending an e-mail.

Long before most of you were up this morning, the middle school was awash in spandex-clad cyclists, ready and eager to head out for the Jesse James Rotary Bike Tour. Griff has posted his photos here. The early birds headed out for 100 miles of pedaling, while slackers in the shorter races could afford a few minutes for coffee and conversation. Members of the James Gang were there on horseback to greet the riders and wish them well, and hundreds of volunteers were fanning out to man water stations and prepare for activities to celebrate the cyclists' return.

People for Peace and Goodwill Celebrates Five Years

The Northfield People for Peace and Goodwill (PPG) group will celebrate 5 years of existence on September 11, 2006. An informal gathering of diverse people, PPG has held weekly vigils every Saturday at noon on Bridge Square since its inception. Along with vigils, the group has sponsored many events, guest speakers, movies, and activities in the Northfield community centered around topics of peace and social justice.

To commemorate their five years, PPG will gather for a special candlelight vigil on Monday, September 11, 6:30pm, once again on Bridge Square.

Visit The Center for Sustainable Living's website for a slideshow of the events and people of PPG.

Scott Schumacher is a board member of The Center for Sustainable Living.

Carleton students volunteer at River Bend Nature Center

Submitted by Carleton College 

On Saturday, September 9, 507 members of the Carleton College Class of 2010 will work all afternoon at the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault as part of the annual "Into the Streets" program, a component of New Student Week.

Sponsored by the ACT Center (Carleton's center for community service and academic civic engagement), "Into the Streets" is a national initiative designed to connect students to their community. Established in 1990, the goal of the program is to encourage and invite civic participation during the students' time at Carleton.

This year, the students will be part of a major buckthorn removal process at River Bend Nature Center. Working along with the new students will be New Student Week leaders, the ACT Center student staff, and the Campus Activities staff. Putting in a collective total of approximately 1,200 hours of labor, the group hopes to make major headway in the elimination of this invasive plant species.

Carleton College and the ACT Center would like to thank its sponsors for their assistance in planning this event: Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for funds to purchase travel mugs; Cub Foods of Northfield for donating bottled water; the Carleton Alumni Annual Fund for donating ice cream treats; and DuFours Cleaners for providing work gloves.

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