Events in and around Northfield

Explorer Will Steger to speak at Bethel Lutheran

Submitted by Connie DeGrote

Will Steger, perhaps the best known and most accomplished Polar explorer of the modern era, will speak on climate change—particularly the extent to which Earth is warming—at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Bethel Lutheran Church, located at 1321 North Ave.(at the corner of Cedar and North Avenues). Displays will be open for viewing beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Will Steger's talk is titled "Eyewitness to Global Warming." Since seeing evidence of global warming "up close and personal," Will Steger has become a voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic. He has led significant feats in dogsled exploration, such as the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole without re-supply in 1986.

Steger has received the John Oliver La Gorce Medal for "accomplishments in geographic exploration, in the sciences, and for public service to advance international understanding." Others who have received the medal include Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, and Jacques Cousteau.

St. John's group to discuss "new immigrant" issues

"New Immigrants Among Us"  is the topic for discussion at the meeting  Monday, Sept. 11,  in the Fireside Room  at St. John's  Lutheran Church  at 500 West Third Street in Northfield. at 7 p.m.

All interested persons are most cordially invited to attend.

Sponsored by the St. John 's Peace and Justice Group, the meeting will include insights from people in the justice system, schools, healthcare facilities and businesses.   We will learn who the immigrants are, what they face and how they are managing.

All present will be encouraged to share ideas for what "old immigrants"  can to do welcome the recent members of the community.

Any questions may be directed to Barbara Wilson, 645-6747, or Judith Stoutland, 645-7842.

History comes to life each fall in DJJD

If you live in Northfield, I don't have to explain who these men are and what's going on this weekend. If you're not volunteering, you've already picked out your favorite events and made plans to be a part of the Defeat of Jesse James Days -- DJJD as its known here. As usual with big events, we have a photo gallery set up and will update it through the weekend. And you can go directly to the DJJD homepage and schedule by clicking here or on the logo at right.

For those of you new to town or visiting, this is a typical festival, with food, entertainment, a parade, craft show and bank robbery...

OK, a bank robbery is a little different. And it's what has set this event apart for 58 years now.

More inside...

Dance professor opens Carleton's convocation series

Carleton College’s opening convocation for the 2006-07 school year will be given by Mary Easter (at left), Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Dance and the Performing Arts, on Monday, September 11, at 3 p.m. in Skinner Memorial Chapel.

Easter's presentation, which will include some dance, centers on challenging the status quo and is titled “Knocking Over the Chair.” A poet and writer as well as a dancer and choreographer, Easter received a bachelor of arts degree in music and French in 1962 from Sarah Lawrence College and studied at the Eastman School of Music.

More inside...

"Dinner On Us" Membership Drawing

Week Nine Drawing:  Chapati

We are proud to announce that our ninth "Dinner On Us" gift certificate is for $50 to Chapati.  By becoming a member of you will be entered into the Dinner On Us membership drawing.  The deadline for this week is noon on September 10th with the winner being announced on Monday, September 11th.

And hurry. We only have a few weeks left before we wrap up our membership campaign with a grand prize drawing. More on that soon...

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.

Steam show, Detour Days brightened holiday weekend

Sure, this isn't the kind of style that will get you to the World Series, but this muddy mess of a baseball game sure provided a lot fun during Detour Days in Dundas over the weekend. Thanks to Glenn Switzer for sending a whole gallery of photos of the events, from sports to some serious partying to the music of Jonah & the Whales.

While Glenn was covering Detour Days, another of our favorite contributors, David Perez, took a trip back in time at the Steam and Gas Engine Show, also in Dundas. We've set up a gallery of his photos of the rows of classic farm equipment, wagon rides and of course, the demonstrations of blacksmith skills, as seen here.

If you have any photos of your holiday weekend fun, send them in a quick e-mail to Please include your name and a short description of the event or activity in the photo.

More on the wind turbine -- caught on video

Back in the early 1990s, I wrote a book called “Elegant Technology: economic prosperity from an environmental blueprint.”

In it, I sought to answer the question of whether it was even possible to create a “green” version of an industrialized society. At the time, there weren’t a lot of successful examples of green technology but one that seemed a likely winner was wind power. So over the years, I have kept my eye on its development.

More inside... including video!

Horseshoe Hunt winner ineligible, prize goes to charity

Defeat of Jesse James Days Chairman Sandy Vesledahl compared the news to hearing that the Grinch had stolen Christmas.

It's not quite that bad, but the end of this year's Horseshoe Hunt clearly didn't go as planned.

Here is Sandy's statement:

"This morning it was announced that the Defeat of Jesse James Days horseshoe hunt had been solved and that the horseshoe had been found late Thursday evening. 

"Officials of the DJJD committee are now announcing that the person who found the horseshoe is an ineligible person to claim the prize.  The person who found the horseshoe is an employee of the Northfield News and would have had access to all of the clues.  Employees and families of the Northfield News, KYMN Radio and the Defeat of Jesse James Days committee are ineligible to claim the prize money. 

"After much discussion on what to do, the DJJD Board of Directors has determined that the $300 prize money will be donated to the local Operation Backpack organization.  There will also be an additional matching donation of $300 given to this organization from the Northfield News for a total of $600.

Labor Day Steam and Gas Farm Show starts Today

This area has a rich farm heritage, and you can learn a lot more about it—and have fun—this weekend. Friday marks the opening of the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines, Inc. 33rd Annual Labor Day event.

The event is expanding to three days this year. It still includes all the popular events: the tractor pull, parade, flea market, music and exhibits. The fun runs from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engines, Inc. Show grounds, Highway 3 South, in Dundas.

Want to know more about what goes on at the show? Click on the photo to see a whole gallery of photos from last year. And as always, you can check back here for a photo gallery from this year, and you can add your photos by e-mailing them to


DJJD Horseshoe Hunt moves into fifth day

Editor's note: The Defeat of Jesse James Days festival kicks into high gear next weekend, but things are warming up now. Watch for the DJJD logo at left, which will appear with all stories linked to the event. And check out our DJJD photo gallery. It's small now, but it will grow. And you can help. Just snap some photos and e-mail them to We'll do the rest.

Update, 9 a.m. Friday: Winner claims prize!

Franklin Lee e-mailed Friday morning to confirm that a winner turned up late Thursday night with the horseshoe, which was in Babcock Park.  DJJD Chairman of the Board, Sandy Vesledahl will announce the winner's name, or names, at 4 p.m. Friday. Stay tuned.

And here's the rest of the story... 

Forget the clues offered to competing teams in "The Amazing Race" or hidden in the subplots of "Survivor." The code to break this week is the one leading to the location of a hidden horseshoe—and up to $300 in prize money.

And you may still have time to join the curious souls who are busy playing in the Horseshoe Hunt. Here's the deal: individuals or teams use the clues—and a little luck—to find a simple horseshoe and turn it in to win $200. A few teams that pre-registered also can claim a bonus of $100 from the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce if they win.

Read on for more information, and all the clues so far...

Who are the best spellers in Northfield?

Mark your calendars now!

The Friends of the Northfield Public Library, along with the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and the Grand Event Center, will be hosting a Spelling Bee fundraiser for Booker, the Northfield Public Library Book Bus. 

The current Booker Bus needs to be replaced and the Friends have found a good, used bus to replace it.  The Spelling Bee will be held on Thurs., Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Grand.  Companies, businesses or individuals can enter teams of three adults.  There are various levels of sponsorship. 

Check the Friends' website at for entry forms or stop by the library.  For more information call the library at 645-6606.

Kathy Ness is a children's librarian at the Northfield Public Library. 

Trap Shooting 101 with the Cannon River Sportsmen's Club

Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division and the Cannon River Sportsmen’s Club are sponsoring a trap-shooting outing this Saturday, September 2, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Phillippo Boy Scout Camp.

This event is for anyone age 12 and older, including adults. The event will feature trap-shooting skills with plenty of opportunity to experience the thrill of shooting clay targets. A parent or guardian must accompany youth. The Cannon River Sportsmen’s Club furnishes all equipment and lunch.

More information inside...

Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select Game to play tonight

According to the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Thunder web site, the Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select soccer game has been rescheduled for tonight (Monday, 28 August 2006), 6:45 p.m., Spring Creek Park Field #6 (510 East Jefferson Parkway). The game was originally scheduled for last Friday night.

All tickets that were purchased for the original date of August 25 are good for Monday's game.

The Thunder will be playing Latino Select, an all-star team composed of players from leagues in Faribault, Farmington and Northfield. All exhibition tickets are $10. For more information, see the Minnesota Thunder News Article or call 651.917.TEAM.

Northfield Tennis to host meeting Tuesday

Submitted by Zach Pruitt

Northfield community members of all ages who enjoy playing tennis are invited to attend a community meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2006.  The gathering will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room SS106 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss current tennis opportunities in Northfield, as well as what community members would like to see in the future and what opportunities exist for collaboration.  The meeting is open to those of all ages and tennis ability levels.

Refreshments will be served.  RSVPs are appreciated.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Eric Lundin (663-7705, or Zach Pruitt (612-578-5984,

Zach Pruitt is a coordinator of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

The Three Big Questions

Vintage Band Music FestivalHere are the three recurring questions people are asking me, following the Vintage Band Music Festival:

1.“How do you think it went?” People are extremely positive in their responses to me, but they also want to know my opinion. In spite of hot weather, the festival was a success beyond my hopes. I measure it not only by the audience response, but also by the satisfaction of the visiting musicians. They were enchanted by Northfield and charmed by its citizens.  They all want to come back. Our audiences came from surprisingly long distances just to be here. My original wish was to see if Northfield could put on a major cultural festival--and the result has been thoroughly satisfying.

2.“How did the money part work out?” The budget for the entire festival will be about  $37,000. More than 2/3 of this went to transportation, housing, and food for the bands. The rest was advertising, publishing, and administration. At present we are within a couple thousand of meeting our budget, but just slightly short. These funds have all been donations and local grants! Those of you Festival enthusiasts who haven’t yet sent in a contribution can now make the difference. Checks should be made out to “Vintage Band Festival:” and sent to the Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division St., Northfield, MN, 55057.  All committee members, including me, have been unpaid volunteers. "Oh yes, I was going to do that.” So, do it!  I trust that it will come out just fine.

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