Arts and Entertainment

It's an Arty world and we just live in it.

Fun with the Flyers! First Books & Stars of the summer

A great evening to kick off the Books & Stars season!

Books & StarsThe summer's first Books & Stars was held Wednesday on the south lawn of the Northfield Hospital. About 200 people showed up to enjoy musical fun with "The Flyers" and check out library materials from Booker, the book bus. 

The next Books & Stars will be held on Bridge Square Wednesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. and feature singer Justin Roberts. (You can find the full summer schedule in this story from May 4th.)

In case of inclement weather, the show moves to the Northfield High School Auditorium.

Editor's note: We've started a Books & Stars photo gallery and we'll be adding to it throughout the summer, so please send us your own photos!

Outdoor dining, outdoor musicians

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One of downtown Northfield's summer pleasures is the preponderance of local musicians performing for outdoor diners. Recent performers at The Cow (click photos to enlarge):

Left: Jellystone Yogi (Joel Cooper on bass, George Marich on drums, Peter Diggins on guitar)
Left Center: Medusa Cabaret (JoAnne Makela, Glenn Bourdot, David Means)
Right Center: The Hamlin/Pernecky Jazz Duo plus one (Peter Hamlin, Mark Pernecky, Steve Kelly)
Right: Mr. Vintage Band Music Festival Paul Niemisto with former Northfielder Peter Hamlin

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFAren't you glad time flies? The weekend is almost upon us again!

It will be another great weekend for music. Downtown is hopping on Third Thursday with the Community Band Concert at Bridge Square. Why not stay downtown for dinner at one of the fine establishments listed in the Northfield Entertainment Guide and hear Chris Herriges at the Tavern or the Hamlin/Pernecky Jazz Duo at the Contented Cow?

The rest of the weekend's details are inside...

Would you watch a play by this man?

Brendon EtterWould You Watch a Play by this Man?

You can watch several, Tuesday night, June 13, at "Under Construction." This event is the first in a series of Arts Guild playwrighting workshops which will give local playwrights feedback on works in progress, and give audiences a sneak-peak at the writing process and the works themselves. The first Under Construction workshop will feature scripts by Brendon Etter, whose short play "Call Girl," was a favorite at our recent Very Short Play Festival. Actors will read the works, and the audience will be invited to give feedback.

The workshop begins at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts. Admission is free. (Brendon Etter is pictured here in the role of Charles Condomine in the NAG's 2005 production of "Blithe Spirit." Photo detail courtesy of Tom Roster.)

Sheryl Joy is the office manager at the Northfield Arts Guild

Northfield stars in Pioneer Press feature

(via the PP) Editor's note: This story was submitted to me through e-mail. I wrote an introduction thanking Susan Hvistendahl for sharing her experience, but the computer apparently ate it.

This is Susan's story:

There is not much to say about how it came about. The Village on the Cannon concierge Kari Sobeck contacted a couple of us residents and said the Pioneer Press was interested in doing a story about new lifestyles of those of us over 55. 

You can read the story here

Kay Harvey came down to interview us a few weeks ago and then on May 30 the photographer came and followed me around town from the Farmer's Market to brother Dave's Froggy Bottoms Pub up to Coleen Rowley's office above the pub and over to the historical society, shadowing a so-called "typical day."

More inside...

Fire and Ice exhibit gets warm reception

The Northfield Arts Guild held an opening reception Thursday, June 8, for the exhibition "Fire and Ice" which highlights the work of artists Dan Bliss, Colleen Riley, and Donovan Palmquist. "Fire" was represented by Colleen and Donovan's fabulous salt-fired porcelain pottery, and "Ice" was present in the form of Dan's intriguing closeup photographs of ice formations.

All three artists are local: Dan lives in Northfield, and Colleen and Donovan live practically in Northfield...just over the northern border in Eureka Township. That's Dan in the top photo, talking with Jill Ewald. The second photo shows Jan Shoger admiring some of  Donovan's mugs.

The art lovers who came Thursday were treated to tasty food and great eye-candy. You can still treat your eyes...though you've missed the food, this show is definitely worth visting! The exhibit will hang through June 24. You can find gallery hours listed on our website.

Sheryl Joy is the Office Manager of the Northfield Arts Guild. 

Wild West Roundup, art and music fill the weekend

Click to view PDFThe obvious choice this weekend for excitement is the Wild West Roundup at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engine grounds in Dundas.Click to visit the website

Activities start both Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. Experience life in the old west through Wild West demonstrations, stories and lots of music. For more details you can check out our recent story on the Round Up

Both the Dundas Dukes and Northfield Knights are in action on Friday night taking on a pair of Aces. Owatonna Aces for the Knights, 7:30 p.m. At Sechler Field and the Lonsdale Aces take on the Dukes at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Field in Dundas. If you prefer afternoon baseball, both teams are in action again on Sunday at 2 p.m. at their respective fields.

Sign up now for summer sports, camps, trips

Now that school is over, it is time to get registered for some great summer recreation activities. Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division still has openings for a myriad of programs.

More inside...

City hopes for quick sale of hospital land

If you’re in the market to buy a home or build one near Way Park, get your financing in place. If you’re a Realtor who’d like to list a couple of cute homes in a nice neighborhood, get your proposal in by June 13.

That’s the day the Northfield Hospital Board will close its selection process, with a decision slated June 20 on an agent to handle the sale of two houses. The modest white homes at 805 (shown here) and 809 West First Street are part of a bundle of properties that had been held in reserve near the former hospital site. With the hospital gone, the city is selling the land. In addition to the homes, the city plans to sell a lot at 803 West First Street and two at 826 and 900 West Second Street.

Nordic Jam Heads North

Nordic Jammers in the 2005 Nisswa-stamman paradeNorthfield's Nordic Jam, a group of local musicians who have been gathering every Monday evening at the Contented Cow for over three and a half years, is taking its show on the road this weekend.

For the third year in a row, Nordic Jam has been invited to perform at Nisswa-stämman, a Scandinavian Folk Music Festival held every year in Nisswa, Minnesota. The festival, now in its seventh year, has become one of the largest traditional Scandinavian music festivals in the region, featuring some 140 musicians from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Washington D.C. and, of course, the upper midwest.

If you're vacationing up in the Brainerd lakes area this weekend, you might just want to take in some great Scandinavian music. The festival kicks off with a Friday night concert featuring the international musicians, followed by a dance, with the rest of the festivities beginning at 10 am Saturday in downtown Nisswa. More information is available at

Doug Bratland is a member of Nordic Jam.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFSummer is here in full force, so get out and enjoy it!

On a beautiful day there is nothing like outdoor baseball, and you don't have to wait for a new stadium! The Dundas Dukes are sponsoring a baseball tournament at Memorial Field in Dundas this weekend. The Dukes, the Dukes over-35 team and the Northfield Knights will all be playing.

The rest of the weekend's details are inside...

Locals play cowboy at Wild West Roundup

Crazy CoraWhether your view of the old West was shaped by Jesse James, Roy Rogers or the boys of "Deadwood," you have to admit there's a certain draw to the fantasy of life on the frontier.

Now you can be part of that life, at least for a weekend, at the Wild West Roundup, June 10 and 11, at the Rice County Steam & Gas Engine Grounds grounds in Dundas. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, you can take a trip back in time to the Old West. There modern day folks will take on roles as cowhands, blacksmiths, gunslingers and barmaids. Click to visit the websiteThe event also will be a homecoming celebration for our own James-Younger Gang, the bank-robbing reenactors who keep Northfield's history alive. The troupe is performing its signature show on a two-week tour of Germany, a country wild about our West. The boys return just in time for the Roundup, which will kick off the area's reenactment season.

"What we're going to try to do is make this the Rennaissance Fair of the Old West in Minnesota." says Jody Greenslade, better known among reenactors as Crazy Cora (pictured in character above). "Pretty soon people will be coming to the Roundup instead of going to all those other events."

Vintage Band Festival needs help

Paul NiemistoSummer often is a slow time for academics, but Paul Niemesto is heading into one of the busiest summers of his life. It's the culmination of months of mixing his academic skills with those of an event planner, travel agent and public relations guru.

Paul, the director and founder of the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, a member of Ameriikan Poijat and a professor of music at St. Olaf College, has invited scholars from around the world and 15 vintage bands from the United States, Sweden, Germany and Canada. They'll hold a conference, but they also will take the whole town back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s, when brass bands played the parks of the world. This time, however, they'll all be playing 40 free concerts throughout Northfield July 27-30. Sure, it seems early to talk about the festival, but Paul has been working for months, and he needs help to pull it all off.

"We need money," he says. "We need volunteers. We need folks to help welcome these bands to Northfield."

ArtOnWater Gallery set to close June 4

Downtown gallery will host 4-day thank-you party and art sale beginning June 1

ArtOnWater is giving up its downtown location at 217 South Water Street after 21 shows in two and a half years.

The gallery would like to express its appreciation to not only the faithful customers (who created over 2500 patron visits), but also all the wonderful artists (50+, some more than once!) I have had the pleasure of meeting and doing business with. I will continue to keep up the ArtOnWater Gallery photos portfolio at website; it contains dozens of images of past shows, artists and patrons.

ArtOnWater Gallery will host a 4-day gallery closing party during its 'Collections Retrospective' Exhibition and Sale this first weekend of June, which opens at 11 a.m., June 1. There will be ChARTdonnay from 5-10 p.m. every day (our now famous ChARTdonnay wine and Just Food cheese event). We will have fine framed art including original watercolors, Eisenstein drawing prints, and other fine art at prices 50-75% off until our closing on June 4. For info visit ArtOnWater Gallery at

Northfield's (Forcefield's) Home-Grown Cabaret

Click to enlargeTonight’s Forcefield’s Cabaret will be a performance in the tradition of the original 1880’s Parisian cabarets, with music, dance, politics and humor combining for an eclectic and entertaining evening. Hosted by Hortense MacLeod (with a bit of competition from Steve Lawler), the cabaret will feature performances by Madame Starlight (AKA Dan Kallman), Liz Braaten and others from NAG’s recent musical production of Cabaret, Suzannah Ciernia, Peter Webb and his piano guys, and many more local talents . . . plus the political punch of Patrick Farwig’s lyrics.

I stopped to snap some photos at the rehearsal Friday night and was treated to some laughs and some thought provoking moments as well. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole show Saturday (May 27) at 7:30 pm at the NAG Theater. Admission is $6 at the door.

Sheryl Joy is the Office Manager of the Northfield Arts Guild.

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