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Summer shindigs

Many festivals this summer will include live music, along with crafts, games, food and much more. (Republican Eagle file photo)

It’s time. Put your winter clothes away and whip out those flip-flops because the summer season and all it’s fun little festivities are upon us.

In today’s world of instant chatting, picture-posting, tweeting and general communication, it’s easier than ever to find and share the fun times created through following community events.

Call them staycations, vacations, road trips or just good old family fun, annual events sprinkled through the Mississippi River towns and valleys are assuredly worth the trip.

Check out the list below for a preview of summer happenings.

Concert in the Park Red Wing Arts Association hosts weekly concerts in Central Park all summer. The music series kicks off with contemporary jazz musician Bomba de Luz.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday June 14

Where: Central Park Band Shell

Cost: Free

Father’s Day Car Show The annual ’60s car show put on by the Phantom’s Car Club in cooperation with Red Wing Downtown Main Street features a collection of more than 100 vintage cars, street rods and customs. This year’s theme is “Red, White & Blue – America the Beautiful.” Awards are given out to the wildest, hottest, hippest, grooviest, club choice, kid’s choice, family choice and more.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday June 15

Where: Third and Bush streets

Cost: Free

Goodhue Volksfest The annual celebration held in the small farm town of Goodhue includes a quilt show, Miss Goodhue pageant, Udder Run, Lion’s Motorcycle & Classic Car Ride, kiddie parade, bean bag tournament, Water Wars balloon launch, Road Rally and much more.

Don’t miss the live music and street dance from Trailer Choir, Lost Highway, Joe Diffie, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Tracy Lawrence.

When: Friday June 13-Sunday June 15

Where: Goodhue

More info: or on Facebook

North Star Bicycle Festival The five-day staged professional bike race draws the top pro racers from all over the country. On Thursday June 12, the race moves south to Cannon Falls for a rural road race showcasing the wide open spaces of Minnesota’s heartland, dotted with family farms, boutique wineries and the famed Cannon Valley Trail, stretching 20 miles along the Cannon River. The race finishes with multiple laps at high speeds through the quaint downtown.

When: Wednesday June 11- Sunday June 15

Where: Expo area is on Mill Street between Third and Fourth streets, Cannon Falls

More info:

Covered Bridge Music and Arts Festival You won’t want to miss this family fun event. In addition to the music and arts festivities, this year’s event includes a family movie night at the State Theater, street dance, Covered Bridge 5K/10K Fun Run Race, softball tournament, 4-H petting zoo, grand parade, live music from Annie Lawler & the Wheelhouse Band, pancake breakfast and complete with a fireworks display.

When: Thursday June 19-Sunday June 22

Where: Covered Bridge Park and throughout Zumbrota

More info:

Zumbrota Art in East Park A major attraction at Zumbrota's annual Covered Bridge Festival, Art in East Park is held the third Saturday in June at Zumbrota's East Park. Due to major road construction on East Avenue this summer, the event has temporarily been moved to the Covered Bridge Park. Activities include artist booths, a youth art display area, music and food.

When: All day Saturday June 21

Where: East Avenue, Zumbrota

Cost: Free

More info:

Ellsworth Cheese Curd Days Ellsworth celebrates the Cheese Curd Festival, presented by Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. Events for the festival include medallion hunt, beard contest, beer garden, food stands, craft and business show, live auction, kids’ train rides, live entertainment and a parade.

When: Friday June 20-Sunday June 22

Where: East End Park, U.S. Highway 10 and Crosscut Road, Ellsworth

More info:

Classic Rock Festival The Harbor Bar kicks off its summer concert series with the Classic Rock Festival. Live music includes a noon to 4 p.m. show by the Classic Rockers band, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. hear the Stone Temple Pirates and from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Funktion Junction takes the stage.

When: Saturday June 21

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Water Ski Days Festival The annual aquatic festival celebrates the invention of water skiing on Lake Pepin. Events include live entertainment all three nights, arts and crafts fair, water ski show, Venetian Boat Parade, Classic Car Show, carnival, karaoke contest, bean bag tournament and a grand parade on Sunday.

When: Friday June 27-Sunday June 29

Where: Throughout Lake City

Cost: Free

More info: 651-345-4123 or

Red Wing Plein Air Art Festival Plein air is French for in the open air. Artists will be painting in outdoor locations.

When: Monday June 23-Saturday June 28

Where: Throughout Red Wing and Red Wing Depot, 418 Levee Street

Cost: Free

More info: 651-388-7569 or

Pioneer Day The Pierce County River Bluffs Center presents Pioneer Day. Find demonstrations of pioneer activities, such as wood hewing, candle making, quilting, butter and ice cream making, pioneer medicine, crafts for children, games and more. A sing-along also is planned for 3 p.m., and there will be food and live music, artifacts and a display of rivers in Pierce County. The 1980s Conlin Log Cabin will be open. Attendees are welcome to come dressed in period clothing.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday June 28

Where: Bay City

Cost: Free

More info: 715-792-5182

Cannon Valley Fair This 98th annual festival is a true "hometown" fair and Fourth of July celebration, culminating with a grand parade and traditional fireworks. Additional events include a midway, grandstand demolition derbies, harness races, crafts competition, live music, fair food, lots of animals and all of the things you would associate with a real American holiday.

When: Tuesday July 1-Friday July 4

Where: Cannon Falls

Cost: $3 per day, $8 season pass, free for ages 5 and under

More info:

Red Wing Collectors Society Convention Founded in 1977, the Red Wing Collectors Society celebrates over 30 years with their annual convention. Potter-enthusiasts from around the country gather in Red Wing to celebrate, commemorate and educate.

When: Thursday July 10-Saturday July 12

Where: Red Wing High School

More info:

Blues Festival Get ready to boogie at the 50th anniversary party of the Blues Festival. Live entertainment includes the Instigators, Everett Smithson Band, the Back Channel Blues Band, the Pearl Brothers and the Willie B Blues Band.

When: Friday July 11 and Saturday July 12

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Prairie Island Pow Wow Sometimes called Wacipi (pronounced Wa-chee-pee), the powwow is a traditional Native American cultural celebration where the generations gather to socialize, dance, sing, visit, renew old friendships and make new ones. In Dakota language, "Wacipi" literally means "they dance." This is a time to renew thoughts of old ways, educate our youths about Dakota culture and preserve their rich heritage.

When: 7 p.m. Friday July 11; 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday July 12; 1 p.m. Sunday July 13

Where: Prairie Island

Cost: Free

Summer Celebration of the Arts Highlighting the work of more than 100 artists, craftspeople, writers, and musicians, the show will feature paintings, pottery, furniture, weavings, jewelry, wood carvings, photographs, textiles, stained glass, and much more. Anderson Center artists will offer open studios and demonstrations, including glassblowing, pottery, painting, silk dyeing and printmaking.

When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday July 12

Where: Anderson Center, Highway 61 at Highway 19

Cost: $3

More info: 651-388-2009 or

Garden Tour The Red Wing Arts Association presents the Garden Tour. Whether you are searching for new inspiration for your garden, want to enjoy beautiful blooms while listening to live music or are curious to see how a garden inspires an artist, you can find it here. The self-guided tour includes gardens of four residences in one of Red Wing’s scenic neighborhoods, the Pottery Pond rain garden and the historic Octagon House.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday July 13

Where: Throughout Red Wing

Cost: Free

More info:

Wabasha County Fair Wabasha County Fair has lots of new and free entertainment this year. Events include a carnival, demo derby, talent show, kid’s barnyard, kids’ pedal pull and many animal exhibits.

When: Wednesday July 16-Saturday July 19

Where: Fairground located at junction of Highway 60 and Highway 61 in Wabasha

More info:

Rivertown Days The annual festival in Hastings includes fun, games and entertainment for the entire family. Events over the three-day celebration include amateur singing contest; trout fishing demonstrations; live music; tennis tournament; arts and crafts fair; pancake breakfast and a grand parade.

When: Friday July 18-Sunday July 20

Where: Throughout Hastings

More info:

Stockholm Art Fair More than a hundred artists will fill the lovely Stockholm Village Park overlooking Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi River. Always held the third Saturday in July, you can be sure that you will find exceptional art including paintings, jewelry, clay, glass, sculpture, fiber, leather, photography and more. Food vendors entice you with wood fired pizza, portabella mushroom sandwiches and many local specialties. Talented local musicians including Patchouli and Yata perform onstage throughout the day.

When: Saturday July 19 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Stockholm Village Park, off the Great River Road and Spring Street, Stockholm

Cost: Free

More info:

Little Log House Antique Power Show The three-day event allows you to re-live childhood memories or create new ones while visiting the restored Pioneer Village and antique show. Events include living history demonstrations, re-enactments by Cannon Old West Society, flea market, threshing demonstrations, Pioneer Village, gardens with thousands of flowers, tractor pulls and music.

When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday July 25-Sunday July 27

Where: 21889 Michael Ave., Hastings

More info: 651-437-2693 or

Reggae Festival The three-day music fest includes live reggae from a handful of musicians including SoFlow, International Reggae All Stars, Dred I Dread, DJ Aurora, Ipso Facto and Ras John & the Coolie Boys.

When: Friday July 25-Sunday July 27

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Cruisin’ Days Take a Friday evening cruise on scenic country roads with the Cannon Cruisers Car Club.

When: 5 p.m. Friday Aug. 1


More info: 507-263-2289

River City Days Three fun-filled days of food, free concerts, kids games, crafts, commercial marketplace, water ski show, parade, car show, Red Wing Ambassador Pageant and so much more. There is something for everyone at Red Wing River City Days.

When: Friday Aug. 1-Sunday Aug. 3

Where: Bay Point Park, Red Wing

Cost: Free

More info:

Parrot-head Party The Harbor Bar hosts a day of live music including Stoney Savanna from noon to 4 p.m., Jambo from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sonny Ray from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

When: Saturday Aug. 2

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Goodhue County Fair The county’s annual fair includes lots of animals, fun, games and even more food. A local tradition since 1859, the celebration was a way for county pioneers to showcase their agricultural and homemaking activities — and stands the same way today. Events include 4-H exhibits and shows, animal judging, carnival, grandstand packed with live entertainment and the beer garden.

When: Tuesday Aug. 5-Sunday Aug. 10

Where: County fairgrounds, a half-mile north of Zumbrota on County Road 6

More info:

Pierce County Fair The fair packs hundreds of exhibits, educational opportunities and top-notch entertainment into these four days. Each day at the Picnic Shelter, every hour on the hour, fairgoers of all ages will find a unique, exciting variety of entertainment that is sure to delight and surprise them. From toe tappin' music to a magician, you will be pleased. Nights in the fairgrounds are filled with the bright lights and excitement only the Carnival Midway brings while the grandstand echoes with the sound of power from the truck and tractor pull. Some highlights include animal judging, chainsaw carving demonstrations, tractor pull, talent show, interactive game shows and plenty of live entertainment.

When: Thursday Aug. 7-Sunday Aug. 10

Where: Fairgrounds, 364 N. Maple, Ellsworth

Cost: $5 daily, $10 seasonal pass

More info:

Country Music Festival The Harbor Bar presents the Country Music Festival with live music from The Swamp Dogs and Generation Band.

When: Saturday Aug. 17

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880