Events in and around Northfield

Christmas photo contest

Ok, proud parents, here's your chance...a reason to show off those adorable photos of your kid in the school pageant. You can send photos of your pet playing in branches of the Christmas tree, the photos of you as a kid playing with that new air rifle. Heck, we'll even take photos of all you snowbirds in your shorts, showing off your decorated Christmas cactus.

That's right. We're having a Christmas photo contest. No prize, just bragging rights to the best photo this year. Send photos to and we'll create a gallery so everyone can check out all the fun. Grab those new cameras and start snapping away. And remember, even when your friends are tired of the shots of your husband in a Santa hat, we're there for you.

Details inside...

2006 Jingle Bell Run/Walk This Saturday

Jingle Bell Run The fifth annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk will be held this Saturday. It's a charity event, with all registration fees going to the Northfield Area Family YMCA.

Saturday is going to be a great day to be outside, with the weather forecast of sunny skies and the temperature in the 30's. Enjoy live music, a horse drawn wagon, free jingle bells, holiday treats and a free 2006 Jingle Bell Run t-shirt. Also free holiday stockings will be given to all family run/walk participants with stocking stuffers handed out along the route. Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the Northfield Armory (519 Division Street) with the race starting at 9 a.m. More details can be found at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk website. The event is sponsored by Carlson Capital Management and Fifth Bridge.

Just Food Turns Two!

Submitted by Joey Robison, Marketing and Member Services Manager, Just Food Co-op:

Just Food Co-op

If you are looking for organic food, food produced locally, products without additives, natural health and body care products, and eco-friendly housewares, you can find them at Just Food Co-op. This weekend, the Co-op celebrates its second anniversary with an anniversary bash on Saturday, December 16.

Northfield Wine Club Holiday Show this Thursday

Submitted by Stephen DeLong

The Northfield Wine Club will hold our final event of the year, this Thursday, December 14, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Grand, featuring Wines for the Holidays.

As usual, we will be offering a variety wines from around the globe, with special emphasis on styles best suited for holiday entertaining and food pairing.

Come all ye faithful, and sample some bubbly, along with stylish and affordable whites and reds, with even a little sherry thrown in for good measure.

This collection of Holiday Wines will be accompanied by an assortment of cheeses courtesy of Just Food Co-op, and baguettes from Brick Oven Bakery.

Thanks to the sponsors who keep us online would like to take a moment to thank our generous sponsors, who have agreed to match the contributions of our new members.  Please take a good look at the list, and remember the names when you're doing business here in town.

Their generosity continues to help Northfield and become a better community.

Come celebrate another year of

Tis the season for fun—and for the Northfield Citizens Online annual meeting. We will be gathering at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at Carlson Capital Management to share a toast to another great year, another as we elect and install our new board members, another as we honor and thank our outgoing board get the idea. Let's just say it won't be a boring business meeting.

Northfield Youth Choirs to Perform 20th Annual Winter Concert

Click to visit the NYC websiteNorthfield Youth Choirs will perform their winter concert, titled "Joy," on Saturday, Dec. 9th at 3 p.m. in Skinner Chapel at Carleton College. Admission is free; a freewill offering will be collected during the performance.

"Nothing warms the heart like the beautiful faces and angelic sounds of the Northfield Youth Choirs celebrating the holiday season." says NYC Board President Michele Reese. "We invite the entire community to join us as we present our 20th anniversary winter concert."

The concert features the seven ensembles of the NYC, directed by Artistic Director  Elizabeth Shepley, Anton Armstrong, Rachel Howe, Karen Lutgen and St. Olaf student intern Lukas Warren. NYC's parent choir that will join the youth choirs in performing two massed choral pieces.

NYC members enjoy weekly one-hour rehearsals, twice-yearly retreats, area performances and tours. The organization's choirs are divided by age, and singers of all levels of experience in grades 1-12 are welcome to participate. The group accepts new members in September and January. For more information, call the NYC office at 507-664-9335 or visit

Winter Walk warmed the cold crowds

Last night's Winter Walk was cold but seemingly more popular than ever, according to our old friend Griff Wigley, who sent us the photo at left. You can see the 50+ photos he took on Locally Grown.

Local photographer and another friend, David Perez, also got some wonderful photos of the event, including the one on the right. You can see his photos at his site. And if you have any photos, just send them along in an e-mail to and we'll add them to the Winter Walk 2006 gallery. (Thanks to Maureen Rado and Cindy Jenson for the submissions.)

Dance students to present '89 Minutes'

Submitted by Katie Balfanz 

The St. Olaf Dance Department will present “89 minutes,” a fall dance concert in Kelsey Theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The concert will include new works by senior dance majors Jake Fitzpatrick, Natasha Kovar, Laurel Osman, Elizabeth Sexe, Claire Short, and Brittany Shrimpton, and works by Minneapolis choreographers Mathew Janczewski and Anna Itman performed by Katie Balfanz.  Seating is by general admission, and the doors open at 7:00 p.m. 

Join the St. Olaf Dance Department on December 12 at 6 p.m. in Dittman Center, Studio 1, as senior dance major Charity Hall presents, “29 minutes:  A Picture Book Presentation.” 

Admission is free for both events.

Northfield Winter Farmers' Market is Saturday

The Northfield Winter Farmers Market - Again this year, is held in November and December only.

If you enjoyed the market Saturday, November 11 (or if you missed it!), you can once again find locally grown meat and vegetables for your holiday feasts!

Available to buy will be fall vegetables, meat, baked goods, lefse, and other items. It will be located at The Village School, 1100 Bollenbacher Ct., just off South Highway 3, behind the AmericInn. and Wendy’s. The market will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come out and buy local food, and meet the farmers who grow it for you!

NEW Birds Eye View map available during Winter Walk!

Click to view larger imageThe first Bird's Eye View of Northfield since 1888 will be available for people to order at the Northfield Historical Society during tonight's Winter Walk. We are the only place in town that will be selling the prints! Be the first to get your hands on the new map, which was created by Jim Bonhoff. It took him over 14 months to complete the map. We invite you to get your order in before the holidays and be one of the first people to get this new piece of Northfield History!

(Editor's Note: A bird's eye view of Northfield published in 1869 can be seen here.)

Hayes Scriven is the Executive Director of the Northfield Historical Society. 

Bundle up and head to Winter Walk Thursday

Our old friend Rick Estenson sent along this photo of a couple of local gentleman (Charlie Cogan and Rick Esse) to remind everyone to forget about fashion, haul out the warm clothes, and head out to enjoy the season—particularly the Winter Walk coming to downtown Thursday evening.

You can read our full story on the event by scrolling down the page or just clicking here. There will be tons of fun, food, caroling and other winter events. So bundle up and get on out there!

St. Olaf students invite you to the “Land of 10,000 Wal-Marts?

Submitted by Nick Barry

On Thursday, December 7, a free public forum will take place in the Sun and Gold Ballrooms in Buntrock Commons of St. Olaf College from 6-8 p.m.

St. Olaf students from the “Wal-Mart America” class look forward to sharing the results of their research on the impact of Wal-Mart and other Big Box businesses both locally and statewide. As one student indicated, “Putting all biases aside, we must look at this information critically and responsibly as we work towards a higher quality of life for our communities in the future.”

Student research topics range widely, from: "Organic Food Production: Co-op or Big Box" to "The Local Impact of Minnesota's First Wal-Mart" to "Women's Work in Wal-Mart America" to "Environmental Controversies over Big Box Building."

We hope that the St. Olaf community, the wider community, and local public officials will attend. Along with the student presentations, we have planned a brief time toward the end of the evening (roughly 7:30 to 8 p.m.) for public officials and public servants to offer responses to this research and its implications. Although this event is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. you’re welcome to join us for some or all of this time.

Check out these photos of the Festival of Trees

Local photographer and oversized Christmas elf David Perez spent the weekend chronicling all the holiday festivities downtown. David sent along the photo at left. And if you click on it, you can see 70 more photos on his site.

Thanks for sharing your photos, David. 

Feel free to send along your holiday photos and stories. Just follow the directions on this page. We particularly want to have photos from this week's Winter Walk on Thursday.

Join the fun. Be part of (At least smile when David points a camera in your direction.) 

St. Olaf breaks ground on $22 million science building

While most people in town were focused on the magic of the St. Olaf Christmas concerts, college officials celebrated another kind of magic Friday -- the ability to turn the dream of a new science complex into the reality of a groundbreaking on a $22 million building. Click on the photo to see the timeline and a ton of facts and figures about the project.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement on the St. Olaf website...and here's the link to a full interview with one of the faculty leaders on the project. 

With fundraising for Beyond Imagination: The St. Olaf Campaign for the Future of Math + Science gaining momentum and the St. Olaf Board of Regents confident that the college will reach its initial campaign goals of $22 million by January 2007, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Science Complex will be held on Friday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m.

The state-of-the-art complex will include a 180,000-square-foot facility to be built on land now occupied by Flaten Hall, Old Main Annex and Manitou Cottage as well as 14,000 square feet of renovated space in Old Music Hall and 9,000 square feet of space in a connection link between the new building and Old Music Hall. With science and technology playing an increasingly visible role in daily life, it is critical that St. Olaf remain on the cutting edge of modern science education and conduct its programs in 21st-century spaces. 

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