Events in and around Northfield

Singers invited to be a part of Arts for Martin

Attention, singers: you have a great opportunity to sing in the Arts for Martin, an annual gathering of community, creation of art, and celebration in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The choir that gathers consists of all ages, school age through adult. We’ll sing a South African freedom song, a piece by local composer Dan Kallman, and a piece by the great jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. Rehearsals are this week Tuesday, January 9th and Thursday, January 11th from 7:15 - 8 pm at ARTech Charter School

The Arts for Martin celebration is this Friday, January 12th at 7:00 pm. RSVP if possible to Bob Gregory-Bjorklund: 663-8806 ext. 204 -- or just come!

Latino issues highlight events this week

The Northfield Human Rights Commission on Thursday will join what is shaping up to be a week of discussions of issues involving Latino concerns, but reaching throughout the community.

The commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, is slated to discuss the recent closing of Las Delicias, a downtown restaurant. The owners, who are legal immigrants, are involved in a complicated landlord-tenant dispute. You can catch up on the background here.

The commission also will discuss a statement by the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions asking the federal government for an end to the sweeping raids conducted in December targeting undocumented workers in Minnesota. You can read the entire statement at the end of this article.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will use its monthly 8 a.m. forum at the Archer House to discuss the challenges facing owners of restaurants and other small businesses trying to succeed downtown. The discussion was sparked by the Las Delicias closing, but will address broader issues such as building costs, taxes, operating expenses, revenue potential and marketing  downtown. Read the details here.

Immigration raids spark work on city emergency plan

Federal raids in December targeting undocumented workers in Minnesota and across the country have sparked serious concerns in the area’s Latino community. Hundreds gathered in Worthington over the weekend to show support for families affected there. WCCO-TV has a complete list of stories related to the raids and their impact.

But the issue of emergency planning reaches beyond immigrant famlies. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showed how easy it is to lose important documents, bank accounts, cash, and most importantly, family members, in a crisis.

Now a group of Northfield leaders are working on plans that will help them — and everyone — deal with emergencies they hope they never encounter. Last Friday more than a dozen people, from the superintendent of schools and police chief to representatives of social agencies and churches met to take the first steps in creating a community emergency plan.

Northfield Tennis Association to meet Monday

Northfield community members of all ages who enjoy playing tennis are invited to attend the Northfield Tennis Association meeting on Monday, January 8, 2007.  The meeting will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room SS106 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).

The Northfield Tennis Association will elect its first board on Monday and will establish a timeline for its 2007 activities.  The meeting is open to those of all ages and tennis ability levels.

For more information, contact Eric Lundin (663-7705, or Zach Pruitt (612-578-5984,

Zach Pruitt is a member of the Northfield Tennis Association.

Grezzo opening last night!

Click to view more photosWe (Grezzo Gallery) opened January with "scrap" last night! The show runs through January and features scrapbookers from all around Minneosta and even from all around the nation. The doors opened last night at 6 pm. We had Wes Thomsen in the house to screen his documentary, Scrapped. Wes is a local film maker, and I hope now a good friend. We had a packed house, somewhere up towards 70 people at one time (we can't fit any more than that in our gallery). After the movie Wes answered some questions and people stuck around to check out some of the scrapbook art on display and to mingle with other scrapbookers including some from the movie.

I want to thank the Northfield Arts Guild and the Archer House for letting us use some of their chairs, and the Art Store for giving us props to stage our window. Please visit these businesses in our community and show support for the local business owners! 

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadRinging in the new year in Northfield always means there’s an abundance of art, cultural and musical events to attend!

Anne Fadiman will be speaking about her book, “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors , and the Collision of Two Cultures, at Skinner Memorial Chapel at Carleton Friday from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m.  Also Friday, catch the art opening, “Habits of Production” at the Dittmann Art Center, St. Olaf, from 6-8 p.m.  Displayed will be new works by six recent art major grads.  Grezzo Gallery will be presenting Scrap Scrapbookers Film and Exhibit” - doors open at 6 p.m. and the Scrapped documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in scrapbooking won’t want to miss this.

Saturday, go to Froggy Bottoms to see T.H.E. House Band play at 7:30 p.m.  Dawn’s Corner Bar will be hosting Bugsy on Saturday night – don’t miss it!

Grab a copy of the Northfield Entertainment Guide at many locations around Northfield including: Northfield Public Library, Archer House, River City Books, Dawn's Corner Bar, Ole Store, Perkins and many, many more spots.

Click on the image above to download a copy of the new, more interactive Northfield Entertainment Guide.

Author Anne Fadiman to speak at Carleton

Anne Fadiman, award-winning author, essayist, and editor, will present a convocation at 10:50 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, in Carleton College’s Skinner Memorial Chapel. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

Fadiman is best known for her book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997). That book, winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, traces the dramatic conflicts that arose between a refugee family from Laos and their American doctors over the care of their seriously ill child.

In her convocation presentation, Fadiman will trace the cross-cultural challenges she faced during her eight years of immersion in Hmong culture while researching the book. More recently she wrote the best-selling book “Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998), a collection of essays originally published in Civilisation magazine. She also edited the book “Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005).

It's beginning to look a lot like...winter!

After a brown Christmas and day after day of clouds, fog and rain(!), it was wonderful to wake up to sunshine and snow on the first morning of 2007.

Since it's such a glorious day to get outside with your sleds and cameras, we've decided to extend our Christmas photo contest by another 24 hours.

You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to send your favorite holiday shots to

Happy New Year from your friends and neighbors at!

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadThe holiday is behind us and a new year is upon us! It's time to make your new year's resolutions. If your resolution is to enjoy Northfield and have more fun, as always there is much to do in the area:

Tonight, Kim Bloom will be entertaining folks at The Hideaway with his classical guitar from 7 to 9 p.m. The Hawthorne Palace Band plays at the Tavern starting at 8 p.m. Or you could head to Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas on for their New Year's Bash with Harmonic Voodoo.

On New Year's Eve, Bjorn to be Wild will be entertaining those ringing in the new year at the Contented Cow.

Is the Dog Park Right for My Dog?

C.A.P. (Canines At Play) is partnering with Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division to host an informational evening this Tuesday for dog owners to discuss the newly established Dog Park.

The event will be held in the Northfield High School Auditorium on Tuesday, January 2, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. All potential park users are encouraged to attend and learn how to join in the fun the park can offer. Refreshments will be served!

Mark Etzell is on the staff of the Community Services Division. 

Kildahl Park Pointe groundbreaking held Wednesday

In spite of the rainy weather, construction was started Wednesday, at Kildahl Park Pointe. They are taking advantage of the mild winter weather, so that they can complete their project by this time in 2007. Click on the image to see more photos.

Kildahl Park Pointe is a senior (55+) co-op housing project located on the edge of the Northfield Retirement Community campus.  Although there are many senior co-ops in Minnesota, this will be the first built in Northfield.

Members will have access to all of the life-long learning amenities of Northfield.  These oportunities include Cannon Valley Elder Collegium (, St Olaf's Lifelong Learning Program ( and the many other benefits offered by our two local colleges for the citizens of Northfield. thanks past board members, welcomes new ones

Last week, the board of Northfield Citizens Online hosted our Annual Meeting at the Carlson Capital Management offices on Bridge Square downtown. In addition to our current, incoming and outgoing board members and several of their spouses and kids, we also had a few guests on hand to enjoy a swell spread of food and drink. Unlike previous annual meetings, this year we did not draft all attendees to become board members!

We kept our business meeting to a minimum, with just a brief recounting of the year in review before voting in our new board and installing our officers for the year. Then we moved on to the more important tasks of snacking and socializing.

Read on for more details...

Living Nativity at Northfield United Methodist Church

Paper-cut tapestryI'm excited about what people at my church are planning for Wednesday night (December 20th, 6:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.). We're hosting a Living Nativity! case you're wondering what a living nativity's an evening when members and friends of the church will portray Mary, Joseph and others from the Christmas Story. They will sit in silence depicting what we imagine to be the scene of the first Christmas. It's an event where not much happens, but a whole lot happens.

This is something that I was able to take part in each year when we lived in Shenandoah Iowa many years ago. The reverence of the night took me away from all the tasks and hurriedness of the holiday season and allowed me to pause and reflect on Christmas.

If you are looking for an event that can bring meaning to these hurried days of Christmas, please stop by. Cars should enter at the south driveway. You can either drive past the scene in your car or park the car and walk around the grounds. Stay for a cup of cider by the fire.

Wal-Mart forum examines regional effect of Big-Box retailers

Wal-Mart ForumThey exist in most cities in the U.S.; they are charged with both fostering and destroying fledgling small-town economies; they are loved and hated by millions of Americans alike. What are they?  What have become known as Big Box retailers, i.e. Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart, have been dotting our countryside and spreading like a case of the chicken pox since the 1970’s.  Chances are every person that reads this article has made a purchase, if not many purchases, from these types of stores at one point or another.  While they undeniably offer low prices to American consumers, many are beginning to examine these stores and the impact of their low prices.

Last Thursday, December 11, St. Olaf students, Northfield residents and members from various other Minnesota communities filled St. Olaf’s Black and Gold Ballroom for the public forum entitled “Land of 10,000 Wal-Marts.”  The forum was a culminating event for students taking “Wal-Mart America,” a class that examines many aspects of American consumerist culture from an historical perspective.  Students studied the development of the American consumer psyche, seeing how our nation developed from purchasing from general stores, then Sears and Roebuck catalogues, and now large discount chain stores.  They also examined how factors such as World War II and the Cold War contributed to the development of a “consumers’ republic.”

Lucia Fest photo gallery

The Northfield Swedish Club hosted their annual Lucia Festival last night at St. John's church. This year's Lucias, Rebecca Carlson, Maia Larson and Bethany Ness—bedecked in crowns of candles—led a procession of singing attendants that included 19 candle-bearing girls and two star boys.

Since my wife and both kids were involved this year, I took a whole mess of photos. I saw a lot of other photographers there, so I'm hoping some of them will add to the gallery by sending their photos to And, since there were two dozen young folks involved, I'd expect a few proud parents to enter their favorite shots in our Christmas photo contest.

Doug Bratland is a board member of Northfield Citizens Online. 

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