Events in and around Northfield

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. 

St. Olaf to present international Christmas services

In the spirit of St. Olaf College’s global perspective, the newly renovated Boe Memorial Chapel will host four different Christmas chapel services Dec. 5–8. The morning services will feature Norwegian, German, Russian and medieval Christmas traditions. The public is welcome at all services.

The Norwegian Christmas service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 11:10 a.m. The service will include Christmas hymns led by the college’s Norwegian Choir and a reading of the Christmas gospel in Norwegian. Norwegian students also will recount Christmas traditions in their native land. The Lars Skjervheim Spelemannslag, a Hardanger fiddle group, also will perform. The St. Olaf Norwegian Department and the Norwegian House sponsor the event.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 10:10 a.m., Boe Chapel will host the German Advent service. The service will include German Christmas hymns and a reading of the Christmas gospel in Martin Luther’s original German translation. German exchange students will speak about Christmas in Germany and the college’s German Choir will sing  “Es steht ein' Lind' im Himmelreich” and “Schlaf wohl, du Himmelsknabe du.” The St. Olaf German Department and the German Haus are sponsors of the service.

Chamber will host Winter Walk December 7

After 8 years, the downtown Winter Walk is becoming a holiday tradition. The Northfield Chamber of Commerce will host the event again this year from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, December 7.

If you haven't been to the Winter Walk before, you can click on the charming scene at left to see a whole gallery of photos from last year's event. And remember, you'll have a whole week to adjust to the cold before you have to venture out.

The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses sponsor this community event, which features caroling, sleigh rides, storytelling and other fun, all done amid lovely storefront decorations and luminaries designed to create a special holiday mood.

Of course, Santa's elves will be around all evening, and stores will have evening hours. There will be cocoa and marshmallows, live reindeer and an interactive live Nativity scene.

NPRE to collect food and gifts at the Winter Walk.

Northfield Professional Resource Exchange (NPRE) will be setting up a booth on Bridge Square, just across from Santa Claus, during the Winter Walk on December 7.

We will be collecting food as well as unwrapped gifts for children up to 18 years of age. All will be donated directly to the CAC and food-shelf.  Please stop by and visit us as we will be serving hot apple cider and will also be singing charols from 6-7 p.m. 

NPRE is a local professional organization dedicated to providing community members a trusted resource to turn to for business and professional services.  Please see our member list and website at

Don't miss the Festival of Trees Saturday

Whoa! Rudolph, Comet, and Blitzen, etc.etc.! Have you heard that Northfield's Festival of Trees is happening THIS WEEKEND, SATURDAY ONLY at the Northfield Arts Guild?

Be sure to come by and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays: readings from holiday classics like The Grinch, and music from high school ensembles, and other local child and adult soloists.  There will also be local artists selling lovely work suitable for holiday gifts.

And don't forget the trees!  This year there will be 15 trees beautifully decorated and sponsored by local artists, groups, and businesses.  (The attached picture shows Mary Rossing's fanciful tree topper from a previous festival.)  You'll also have a chance to see the first ever Northfield Artists' Tree, with ornaments made by more than 20 incredibly creative local artists.

Authors and photographers to visit St. Olaf Bookstore

As part of this year’s annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival celebrations the St. Olaf Bookstore will host four authors and two photographers to sign books for customers Thursday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 3. Besides the titles listed below, many current and previously published titles by the visitors will be available for sale and signing.    


St. Olaf faculty member Jim Heynen (above left), author of Schoolhouses of Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2006), and photographer Doug Ohman (above right) will be in the bookstore Thursday, Nov. 30, 6–7 p.m. Schoolhouses of Minnesota is a look into the nearly forgotten world of one-acre school grounds, kerosene lanterns and coal-burning stoves. The book includes 120 color photographs of Minnesota’s pioneer and early schoolhouses.

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, November 27, 2006.  The meeting will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room SS106 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).

This is the fourth meeting of the Northfield Tennis Association.  The meeting is open to those of all ages and tennis ability levels.  Meeting topics will include discussion of plans for the association in 2007 and ways to enhance tennis opportunities in the community.

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

Zach Pruitt is a member of the Northfield Tennis Association.

4th Monday discussion to focus on teen curfew

The Northfield League of Women Voters (LWV) will continue it’s “4th Monday” public meeting series in November with a discussion of the Northfield Curfew ordinance. This meeting will be produced by Ron Nuebel’s high school senior Political Economics class. It is being done as a lab project, and relevant members of the community, police, judges, downtown property owners, will be invited to participate with the youth members for discussion.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday, November 27, at the Public Meeting room of the Northfield public Library.

Each fourth Monday of every month at 7 p.m., in the Northfield Public Library’s first floor meeting room, the LWV hosts a lightly moderated discussion of an issue of current interest or concern to the community.

Generally the League takes no position on these topics and is hosting these meetings to enable ideas and voices to be heard. Each month’s topic will be announced on the Northfield Library Bulletin Board and the week before the meeting in the Northfield News.

Send us your holiday news!

Once again the holidays are upon us, with Thanksgiving just ahead and a host of others following close behind.

Please share your holiday news. Is your church or organization holding a special holiday meal, a campaign to provide food or toys to families or a community music program?

Is your business offering special holiday hours, shopping services, delivery or shipping options or other great reasons to shop here? Is your restaurant offering seasonal menu items, entertainment or other holiday specials? We'd love to hear from the local business organizations, but we also are happy to hear from individual businesses.

You can post the information yourself, just by clicking on the Submit News link at left. If you have questions or need help, just e-mail me at and I'll get back to you.  

And, as always, we'd love to see your family photos, your thoughts about the holidays and any other ideas that pop into your heads. You can join one of the conversations in the new Forums at left or start one of your own.

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