Items related to downtown Northfield

Sidewalk Poetry Sought

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Want to MAKE YOUR MARK in a downtown sidewalk?  Here's your chance! Thanks to funding provided by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, the Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield is currently conducting its fourth annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest.  Residents of Northfield and students attending Northfield schools at all levels (including the colleges) are eligible to participate.  Each person may submit up to two poems.  A blind judging process is carried out, during which judges are unaware of any identifying information regarding the poets.  Please look to the website of the Friends and Foundation of the Library for important contest guidelines.  Poems may be submitted to the Library throughout the month until 5:30 pm on Friday, February 28th.  Winning poets will be announced in March.

Coming Soon to The Northfield Public Library – Experience Art in Southeastern Libraries exhibit


On Thursday, February 13, the Northfield Public Library will open the Experience Art in Southeastern Libraries (easel) exhibit to the Northfieldcommunity.  Showcasing original artworks by regional artists, this exhibit revolves around each artist’s interpretation of the theme of books, a letter or letters, reading authors, or the library.  One of thirteen locations in Southeastern Minnesota selected to host the exhibit, it will be open in our community from February 13 to March 26, 2014.

An Artists’ Reception will be held opening day - Thursday, February 13, from 7-8pm on the library’s 2ndfloor. Refreshments will be served. Come and meet some of the easel artists and enjoy a homemade treat!

Jane McDonnell's Poetry Reading - POSTPONED!

Northfielder Jane McDonnell's reading of her new poetry collection, A Bone in the Throat, has been postponed. 

Watch for the rescheduling of the reading next spring.

Make Your Mark - Special Kick-Off for 4th Annual Sidewalk Poetry Competition

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From Northfield Arts and Culture Commission Chair Philip Spensley, comes this announcement:

Time to get those images that inspire you into words.  For the fourth year running, Northfielders will have the opportunity to see their poems or those written by their friends and neighbors stamped into sidewalks around town. 

The 2014 competition kicks off Saturday, February 1, at 10 a.m. in the Just Food's Community Meeting Room with the first public screening of Paul Krause's new documentary "Northfield's Sidewalk Poetry" (see the bottom of this post for a short preview).  The public is invited to attend and to bring a favorite poem to share.  The 2014 competition runs throughout February, with the final date to submit poems either mailed or delivered by 5:30 pm on February 28.

Patsy Dew to Receive Living Treasure Award Thursday

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Chair Philip Spensley announces that the Arts and Culture Commission's 2014 Living Treasure Award which annually honors a Northfield area resident who has made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the city’s identity and quality of life through and behalf of the arts and culture, will be presented by Mayor Dana Graham to Patsy Dew at a ceremony starting at 7 pm at the Grand Event Center, Thursday, January 16.  The public is invited to attend the celebration and to share in the expression of appreciation for Patsy's many and significant contributions to the community.  Live music will be provided by Peterj Webb.  Snacks will be served and a cash bar will be available.  Two tickets to Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and two to the Old Log Theatre will be given as door prizes, thanks to Jeff Johnson and KYMN.

Meet a Minnesota History Player Charley Goddard- a teenage civil war soldier.

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Charley Goddard(1846–1868)Teenaged Civil War Soldier

What was it like to be a teenage soldier during the Civil War?

You will learn about:

· Goddard’s childhood in the frontier town of Winona, Minnesota

· Tensions leading to the start of the Civil War in 1861

· Goddard’s experiences on and off the battlefield, told through his many letters home

· The impact of the Civil War, both nationally and in Minnesota

· See items from the Northfield Historical society’s Civil War collection.


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Attention all sixth graders!  Jumpstart your History Day project by coming to the second annual Northfield Public Library History Day Hullabaloo, on Saturday, January 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

History Day mentors, (volunteers from Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the Northfield community) will meet individually with students and provide guidance with topics, research sources, and bibliographic information.  Mentors and librarians will demonstrate library and other databases available for research.  Librarians will also display primary and secondary resources.

Come for help with your project and enjoy the fun!  Refreshments will be served.  $5.00 gift certificates to downtown businesses will be raffled off during the morning.  Students attending the Hullabaloo will receive extra credit toward their project.  All sixth grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend.


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Start 2014 off healthy and attend a series of monthly nutrition seminars at the Northfield Public Library.  Local nutritionist Noel Aldrich will discuss the following topics:

 Thursday, January 9, 7:00 PM

Proactive Health Strategies

– To start right, you have to know your baseline

To improve your health, you need to know your starting point.  This seminar will provide examples of basic blood test results used for evaluating current health and how to use nutrition strategies for health improvements in the New Year.


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The date has been finalized for Tuesday, January 21.  Alison will talk at the Middle School in the morning, and speak at the library at 7:00 that evening.Come to the Northfield Public Library and meet New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer prize nominee , Alison McGhee on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM.  Alison McGhee is a Minnesota author, and won the Minnesota Book Award for her first novel, Rainlight, in 1999.  Since her very successful beginning, she has written other adult novels:  Shadow Baby and Was it Beautiful and Falling Boy.  After writing several of her adult novels, she began writing picture books, young adult novels, and children’s chapter books.  She has garnered awards in several categories of her writing.  In addition to her first Minnesota Book Award, she won the Great Lakes College Association National Fiction Award for Rainlight.  



Hot Reads for Cold Nights returns to the Northfield Public Library this winter.  During the cold, snowy months of January and February, curl up and read some books and win prizes at the library!  Join the library Hot Reads program starting Monday, January 6, and read for prizes until Friday, February 28.

After reading a book, each patron will fill out a slip with their name and phone number and a few lines describing the book.  The name and phone number section of the paper will be cut off and put in a fishbowl.  The comment section of each slip will be posted on the bulletin board downstairs, near the new books.  Patrons will be able to browse each other comments for ideas of new books.  From the names in the fishbowl, three winners will be drawn each week.  Each winner will receive a $5.00 gift certificate to a downtown business. Once again, patrons who use the Northfield Senior Center will be able to sign up and drop their book slips at the Senior Center.   The completed slips will be posted at the library, and the participants will be included in the weekly drawings.

Northfield Citizens Online Annual Meeting-January 22, 2014


All are welcome to attend NCO's Annual Meeting at the Cow on Wednesday, January 22, at 7:00 p.m. In addition to electing new board members, we will hear about the strategic plan for's future. Laptops and board members will be on hand to help folks through the process of submitting content to the website. AND, QuizMistress Jessical Peterson White will be on hand to challenge our minds! Should be fun!

The Civil War: The Aftermath of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863


Civil War student Jim Stark will present the fifth talk in a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War on Thursday, December 19, at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, 408 Division Street.

The focus will be the aftermath of Gettysburg and Vicksburg when the south was reeling from the twin defeats.  Mr. Stark will cover the fall of Port Hudson, which turned control of the Mississippi down to the Gulf of Mexico to the north. Also included will be the heroics of the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner, the New York draft riots, guerilla activity in Kansas and Missouri and other conflicts. He will examine the Gettysburg Address.

The program is free and open to the public. 

Historic Northfield Buildings Depicted on Limited Edition Cards


Hayes Scriven, Northfield Historical Society Executive Director, announces the availability of archival quality cards which are printed by Keeny Swearer using etched zinc blocks, the oldest of which dates from 1876. Three landmark buildings are depicted:  the Scriver Building, First National Bank and the Armory. Cards come with information about the buildings and the Letterpress process.

The blocks were diiscovered in a local family's estate. The Scriver Building block appeared in the Rice County Journal the day after the 1876 bank raid. The First National Bank image is found in early 1900 bank released articles, while the Armory image first appears in the Northfield News in 1916.

Before the blocks could be used, they needed to be cleaned by hand, using a razor blade,  of dirt and oxidation. The cards were printed in the Artorg print shop.


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NORTHFIELD, MINN. (December 11, 2013) – The Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that John Stull will serve as the organization’s interim executive director. Stull, a longtime Northfield resident and noted community leader, will begin his new role on Monday, December 16.

With a résumé that includes 30 years at MOM Brands®, stints as Northfield’s mayor and a Northfield city councilor, president of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and interim executive director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC), Stull will use his experience to further build the Chamber’s collaborations with like-minded organizations and establish a strategic direction for the future.

Soup for Scholarships at Winter Walk

Season's Greetings!  Stop by The Northfield Armory tomorrow night, ThursdayDecember 12, 5:00 - 7:00pm, for the 2nd Annual Soup for Scholarships All Community Soup Dinner and the Riverwalk Market Fair Holiday Sale .

This year’s Winter Walk event at the Armory will feature a delicious hot soup dinner and the fine crafts, art pieces, gourmet gift items and scrumptuous baked goods of over 35 local Riverwalk Market Fair artisans and farmers. Christmas music will be provided throughout the evening by local musicians and choral groups! Dont miss the festivity and fun! 

Stop by anytime between 5 and 7pm! Enjoy your soup while seated at a festively set table, or take a bowl of soup with you while you shop. 

A minimum donation of $5 adults/$3 youth (ages 3 - 9yrs) is requested; children under 3 yrs. eat for free.  All dinner proceeds support college scholarships for the students of Northfield’s TORCH Program which is Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes for income challenged youth in the Northfield School District.  

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