Events in and around Northfield

Cows, corndogs, crazy rides -- It's the fair!

Rice County FairThe cows are groomed and pampered and nearly as happy as the one at left.

The rides are set up. And the deep fryers are heating up.

Yes, that means it's time for the Rice County Fair. The fair opens Tuesday and runs through July 23. Gates open at 1:30 daily.

The entertainment includes Johnny Holm, Killer Hayseeds, Whitesidewalls, Smokescreen, Sheltered Reality and more. For a full schedule of events check out the fair website.

If you go to the fair, send us your photos! Just look at the left column and click the Submit Pictures link for instructions—it's as easy as sending an e-mail. We'll start a gallery and you can add to it all week.

Conference highlights church music and art

Psalm 98 urges people to "Make a joyful noise to the Lord," and you'll be hearing a lot of that noise coming from St. Olaf College this week.

Beginning Monday, the college will host "For the Fruit of All Creation," this year's conference on worship, theology and the arts. The conference runs through July 21, featuringfeature speakers, worship services, workshops, music and seminars on a variety of topics. And some events are open to everyone. You can visit the conference website for more information and a full schedule of events. That's where we picked up this info and the very cool artwork.

Maltby Nature Preserve celebrates summer

The Leopold Activity Series Continues at The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve on Thursday, July 20, 7-8:30 p.m. with a celebration of summer.

During every week from April to September there are, on the average, ten wild plants coming into first bloom.

We use the words from Aldo Leopold’s "A Sand County Almanac" as the starting point for our exploration of prairie bloomers. Help us celebrate the wildlife habitat and flowers in our prairie which was restored in the 1990s, with help from the Goodhue County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership. 

Once the July day cools, enjoy an early evening walk on the prairie – an informal hike to visit plants in bloom and revel in the secrets and special adaptations of those plant species that thrive in our hot, sunny, dry, windy, mid-western plains.

Books & Stars lights up the summer

The Books & Stars program has been a huge hit this summer, as you can see in the photo at left and a new batch of photos sent by Northfield Public Library children's librarian Kathy Ness. The eight newest photos in the Books &' Stars photo gallery are of Wednesday evening's event, which featured Nancy, Eddie & Friends at Central Park.

The fun continues next Wednesday, July 19, with Northfield's own bluegrass band String Fever performing on the lawn of Emmaus Church.

Booker the Book Bus opens at 6 pm, the entertainment begins at 7 p.m. Booker has library materials for all ages. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and settle in for fun! The Cocoa Bean returns to sell their refreshing Hawaiian Shaved Ice and half the proceeds are donated to Booker!

Read the rest of this entry to view the schedule for the rest of the summer.

Mill Towns Trail plans becoming reality

Mill Towns TrailOK, this isn’t officially a news story, but Peggy Prowe does such a readable job of recording the minutes of the Mill Towns Trail board meetings that we decided to share them as is.

And there’s a lot going on. In fact, we also just received word from Tim Madigan (Faribault City Administrator) that the City of Faribault will host a ribbon-cutting for the opening of the White Sands trail head facility at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29. This facility connects the Mill Towns and Sakatah trails.

We’ll have more on the ribbon-cutting later, but here are Peggy’s notes on all that’s happening with the trail and all the opportunities for people to help.

Read the rest of the entry for Peggy's notes...

"Dinner On Us" Membership Drawing

Week Two Drawing:  The Rueb 'N' Stein

We are proud to announce that our 2nd "Dinner On Us" gift certificate is for $50 to The Rueb 'N' Stein.  By becoming a member of you will be entered into the Dinner On Us membership drawing.  The deadline for this week is midnight on July 16th with the winner being announced on Monday July 17th.

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.

To enter without becoming a member, just send a message through the Contact Us button.

This is our way of saying thank you for becoming a member and for visiting the site to find out what's happening in your community.  The following is a summary of past winners.

Summer Swimming Opportunities

As you wait for the new pool to be built and try to beat the heat, Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division has some swimming opportunities for you. 

Our summer swimming lesson program kicks off Monday, July 17, with lesson times in the morning and afternoon. There will be another morning lesson session beginning on July 31. For a complete schedule of lesson times, please log onto and click on the Community Services Division link.  

There will be an open swim date Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 1-3 p.m. And to really beat the heat you can join us for two aquatic field trips: on Friday, July 21, we will be going to the Apple Valley Family Aquatics Center and on Friday, Aug. 11, we will be going to the Hastings Family Aquatic Center.

For more information or to register for these programs, stop at the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division office located on the first floor of the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) at 1651 Jefferson Parkway in Northfield, call 664-3649, or go online to

Mark Etzell is the facilities coordinator for the Northfield Public Schools.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFIt’s going to be a hot weekend, so in between outdoor activities, plan to stop by the two (air conditioned) exhibits opening this weekend.

At ArtOrg's Moving Walls Gallery, the video installation of “Why are you here? And where is your accent?: The Moderate Immigration Story” by Mel Racho will open. This exhibit, curated by Lisa Otte, utilizes video and custom electronics to create a “conversation” about this middle-class family's experience of immigration. The opening reception is Friday, July 14 from 6-9 p.m.

Also opening this weekend is Surfaces at the Northfield Arts Guild Gallery. This exhibit features the prints of Christine Herman of Stillwater and Karl Nelson of Northfield. Both artists are strongly influenced by the natural world. This aspect of their work will be complimented this weekend by floral arrangements from the Northfield Garden Club.

Thursdays on the Square continues

As the sounds of the Northfield Community Band Concerts and the sparkles of the 4th of July Fireworks begin to fade, don't worry, be happy, 'cause the entertainment action continues in Downtown Northfield.

In fact, the century-old tradition of Thursday night community cultural celebrations in Bridge Square, the very heart of Northfield, continues through the summer.

On Thursday, July 13, it's the Songs of Hope and Pie on the Square sponsored by the Northfield News and Cub Foods.

On Thursday, July 20, it's an NDDC Third Thursday Event:  the first Taste of Northfield with local musicians.

On Thursday, July 27, it's the Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee-sponsored Crazy Daze followed by the Opening Concert of the Vintage Band Festival and a street dance.

On Thursday, August 3, it's the Bridge Chamber Music Festival and ArtSwirl sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild.

Eat (or throw) pie, dress funny, listen to good music. Be happy!

Dan Bergeson is president of the NDDC.

Farmer's Market in full swing

Farmers MarketThe Farmer's Markets are in full swing in Northfield. New this year is a Monday evening market from 4pm - 6pm at the Southgate Cinema parking lot on highway 3. Shopping at the farmer's market is a way to invest in food grown locally in the community and surrounding areas. Currently available items include tomatos, spring onions, carrots, kale, chard, garlic stems, and peas. The choices vary as the growing season progresses.

Farmer's Market hours and locations are:
Mondays, 4-6pm at the Southgate Cinema Parking Lot
Tuesdays and Fridays, 11:45am-1pm at Riverside Park on 7th Street
Saturdays, 9-11am at Riverside Park on 7th Street

For more Farmer's Market Pictures, visit the The Center for Sustainable Living's Farmer's Market Flickr Gallery.

Scott Schumacher is a board member of The Center for Sustainable Living. 

Anne Jarvis Wins First 'Dinner on Us' Drawing

We have our first winner!

Anne JarvisAnne Jarvis of Northfield has won a $50 gift certificate for The Ole Store, just for joining Northfield Citizens Online, the group that brings you

Here's what Anne has to say about us (and she said this even before she won!): "I love this website and have used it several times in my 5th grade classroom to show my students how to access information about their community. My brother also checks it from his home in Michigan so he can stay "hip" on Northfield happenings."  Thanks Anne for your support!

As most of you know, we have launched a membership campaign, aimed at getting all of you who enjoy to support it financially. We're asking just $20 for an individual membership, and we're doing it on the honor system so you won't be getting a bill or seeing a blank screen if you don't pay.

In return for helping out, however, we are giving you a chance to win "Dinner on Us," a $50 gift certificate for dinner at local restaurant. We're drawing one name a week, and this is our first drawing. Those of you who didn't win, don't worry. Your names will be forwarded to our next drawing, for a gift certificate to The Rueb 'n' Stein. The next deadline for entries is midnight on July 16th, with the winner being announced on Monday, July 17th.

You can join right now by visiting the new member page. But you don't have to join to enter the drawing; just hit the contact us button and send us an e-mail. That's all there is to it.

Video Installation opens July 14 at ArtOrg

Click to enlarge“Why Are You Here? (And Where Is Your Accent?): The Moderate Immigration Story”
A video installation by Mel Racho, curated by Lisa Otte.
ArtOrg Moving Walls Gallery
Opening reception: Friday, July 14, 6-9 p.m. Show runs through July 23.

Between the sensational accounts of sneaking groups of illegal immigrants across the border and the relative ease with which people of wealth can enter the U.S. lies another story – the “moderate” immigration story. This more temperate immigration account is told in “Why are you here? (And where is your accent?),” a new video installation by artist Mel Racho.

Work starts on new pool

Click to view a small photo setOn a perfect day for swimming, dozens of Northfield residents stood around the new city pool at Memorial Park Thursday – or at least around the site where the new pool will be when it opens next summer.

Mayor Lee Lansing donned a red swimming outfit, complete with flippers, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the $2.85M pool project. Park Board and City Council members donned the traditional hard hats and picked up shovels, but they didn’t have to try and break the sun-hardened soil.

Project manager Jack Viebahn of Met-Con Companies of Faribault, the general contractor for the project, brought along a small bulldozer to do the heavy work. That left the officials to smile and pose with neighborhood kids who showed up for the event.

"It's one small scoop for man...a lot of little scoops for the children of Northfield," Park Board Chairman Richard Vanasek joked. Mayor Lansing called his red outfit a tribute to historic swimming apparel, a nod to the past as the city moves to the future.

Volunteers needed to help paint Pavilion

Editor's note: I received this email last night from Kevin O'Connell, Boardmember of the Northfield Soccer Association.

We are looking for volunteers to help with Stage 2 of the Pavilion Painting.

WHAT: Paint the Ceiling
WHERE: Amerman Soccer Pavilion - Spring Creek Park
WHEN: Fri. July 7th, 5-8pm and/or Sat. July 8th, 9am-3pm

Your time spent would be for 1 to 2 hours. We will be masking/taping the beautiful green girders before spraying a sealant on the wood ceiling.

Steve Ryan, formerly with Ameripainters and Dad to Hattie (U15 Girls) and Chase (U14 Boys) is donating his time, equipment and spraying skill to help us get the job done this weekend. All he needs is some help from us to push him around on the wheeled scaffolding. Let's give him a hand and a ride. Then our third stage remains, which is to paint the building. Coming soon. Thanks for your support.

Northfield winners also state champs

Click to enlargeThe annual Northfield Criterium cycling races are a 4th of July tradition here. But the day-long blur of speeding cyclists had special meaning this year.

This year's race doubled as the Minnesota Cycling Federation state championship. Sponsored by Great River Energy, the event drew racers in classifications from juniors under 15 years of age to senior riders over 50. 

Brady Larson, 24, of the Category 6 Racing team, led the 69 starters in the Men's Elite race. The average speed for the race was 26.5 miles per hour over 23 laps. Missy Erickson, 16, of MNJRC took the honors in the women's elite race, where 15 starters averaged 19.6 miles per hours over 13 laps.

These were the best of the best at all levels and their speeds showed it. Even the 54 senior riders, competing in the over-50 class, averaged 25.2 miles per hour over 25 laps.

Race director Andrew Dahl was thrilled with the turnout. You can get the first peek at all the results by viewing the attached PDF. You also can see more race day photos in our 4th of July gallery, which now includes more than 165 photos of holiday events.

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