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Area celebrations offer something for everyone

The unofficial start of summer has begun. School's out, temperatures are rising, the trees are green and the small river communities are bustling again with tourists, motorcyclists, boaters and locals alike.

Although the summer solstice falls on June 20, the season's uncanny ability to bring out the best festivals, jubilations and celebrations is now upon us.

Take your pick of one or several of the jam-packed weekends full of summer entertainment. Pack up the kids, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, husband, wife, grandma, grandpa or even the dog - and don't forget your lawn chair, cooler, sunscreen and shades. With so many options for so many tastes, the only question is: Can your flip flops handle it?

Volksfest Festival

The annual celebration is held in the small farm town of Goodhue.

Today's events include a 5K Udder Run at 9 a.m., craft show at the Lions Community Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Civil War marching drill at 10 a.m. at the museum, community carnival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the high school, kiddie parade at 11 a.m. from the White Rock Bank to the school, lawn mower derby at 11 a.m. next to Goodhue Chiropractic, karaoke from 2:30 to 4:20 p.m. downtown, a pie and ice cream social from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Doc Sawyers, parade at 5 p.m. and street dance with live music from Rocket Club and Craig Morgan at 7:30 p.m. The evening ends with a fireworks show near Rosie Park at dusk.

When: Today to Sunday June 10

Where: Throughout Goodhue

More info:

Trolley tours

Trolley tours resume in Red Wing, with stops throughout town. Tickets and boarding are available at the Red Wing Visitors & Convention Center near Levee Park.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday

Where: Throughout Red Wing

Cost: $11 adults, $10 seniors, $6 for ages 11-17 and free for children 10 and under

More info:

Nature Valley Grand Prix

A five-day staged professional bike race, which is part of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, draws the top pro racers from all over the country.

Day 2 takes place in Cannon Falls. The race starts and finishes in there.

The race culminates with four finishing circuit laps around the in-town circuit that passes by the East Side Park giving spectators the opportunity to be a part of the action as they cheer the best riders in the world racing just inches away. Spectators can also enjoy live music, concessions and kid's fun races in the expo area.

Spectators in the expo area can enjoy the music of Dave Carpenter & Friends beginning at 6 p.m., while people at the East Side Park can enjoy the music of the Cannon Falls Community Band while they await the arrival of the racers to the in-town circuit.

Profits from the event benefit the Children's Lighthouse of Minnesota.

When: Thursday June 14. Men's race starts at 4:30 p.m., women's at 5 p.m., expo opens at 5 p.m. and kid's fun race starts at 6:15 p.m.

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

More info:

Covered Bridge Music and Arts Festival

In addition to the music and arts festivities, this year's event includes a spectacular lineup of activities for all ages including a family movie night at the State Theater, street dance, Covered Bridge 5K/10K fun run, softball tournament, 4-H petting zoo, grand parade, live music from Them Pesky Kids, pancake breakfast and fireworks.

When: Friday June 15-Sunday June 17

Where: Covered Bridge Park and throughout Zumbrota

More info:

Zumbrota Art in East Park

Art in East Park and Zumbrota's annual Covered Bridge Festival coincide. Activities include 40 artist booths, a display of area youth art, live music and food.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday June 16

Where: East Avenue, Zumbrota

Cost: Free

More info:

Maiden Rock Summerfest

Enjoy a day celebrating the sunny days of the season next alongside Lake Pepin. It's a family fun event with activities including kid's games, a moonwalk, dunk tank, sand mine tours from 9 a.m. to noon leaving from Village Park, a grand parade at 2 p.m., live entertainment from Midnight Special from 4 to 8 p.m. and a beer tent.

When: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday June 16

Where: Village Park, Maiden Rock

More info:

Father's Day Car Show

The annual 1960s car show put on by the Phantoms Motor Club features more than 100 vintage cars, street rods and customs. There will be a model car for kids 15 and under to assemble and take home.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday June 17

Where: Third and Bush streets in downtown Red Wing

Cost: Free

Pajama Party

This marks the seventh annual Ladies Night Out Pajama Party. The family-friendly event invites everyone to enjoy a night out on the town in your PJ's. There will be a children's style show along with giveaways, drawings, crazy bed hair-do's, games and lots of fun.

When: 5-9 p.m. Friday June 22

Where: Downtown Red Wing

Cost: Free

Water Ski Days Festival

Lake City's 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 Sunday's grand parade.

When: Friday June 22-Sunday June 24

Where: Throughout Lake City

Cost: Free

More info: 651-345-4123 or

Ellsworth Cheese Curd Days

As the Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin, Ellsworth celebrates the Cheese Curd Festival the third weekend in June. Events 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 22-Sunday June 24

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

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Midsommer Festival and Antique Tractor Parade

Join the festivities and celebrate Scandinavian heritage at the Midsommar Festival and Antique Tractor Parade. Activities include Swedish pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., outdoor worship at 10:30 a.m., blessing of the tractors at 11:30 a.m. and the arrival of the tractors to kick off the Midsommer Festival in Cannon Falls at 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy live music from the Dave Carpenter Band and Brother Music Sister Rhythm, and don't forget about the free Swedish food.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday June 24

Where: Tractors start at the Vasa Lutheran Church, 15235 Norelius Road, Welch and end at the Spring Garden Lutheran Church, 10239 County 1 Blvd., Cannon Falls

Cost: Free; donations accepted

Red Wing Plein Air Art Festival

Plein air is French for in the open air. Artists will be painting in outdoor locations.

On Wednesday June 22, artists will paint in the park during Red Wing's Concert in the Park performance. Kids of all ages are invited to paint an umbrella beginning at 6 p.m.

On Saturday June 26, the final plein air painting event will be held in the morning. That evening a reception, sale and show will be held at the Depot Art Gallery. Four pieces of artwork from the 30-plus artists will be displayed and for sale.

When: Monday June 25-Saturday June 30

Where: Throughout Red Wing and Red Wing Depot, 418 Levee St.

Cost: Free

More info: 651-388-7569 or

Cannon Valley Fair

This is a true "hometown" fair and Fourth of July celebration, culminating with a grand parade and traditional fireworks. Events include a midway, grandstand, demolition derbies, harness races, crafts competition, live music, lots of animals and all of the things you would associate with a real American holiday.

When: Friday June 29-Wednesday July 4

Where: Cannon Falls

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

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Classic Rock Festival

The Harbor Bar kicks off its summer concert series with the Classic Rock Festival. Live music includes Fiasco from noon to 4 p.m., Brigade from 4 to 8 p.m. and the Bad Animals "Heart Tribute Band" from 8 p.m. to midnight.

When: Saturday June 30

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

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. Scott King, owner and operator of Red Dragonfly Press, will host poetry readings by some of Minnesota's finest poets in the granary.

Music entertainment on the lower lawn stage will include: Mu Daiko Japanese drummers, the acoustic Indi-Folk duo Patchouli, Mark Kreitzer Hot Club and others.

When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday July 7

Where: Anderson Center, Highway 61 at Highway 19

Cost: Free

More info: 651-388-2009 or

Blues Festival

Get ready to boogie at the Harbor Bar Blues Festival. Live entertainment includes Steve Meyer and the Blues Dogs from noon to 4 p.m., the Back Channel Blues Band from 5 to 9 p.m. and closing the evening is Sena Ehrhardt from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

When: Saturday July 7

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Red Wing Collectors Society Convention

Founded in 1977, the Red Wing Collectors Society celebrates 35 years with its annual convention. Potter-enthusiasts from around the country gather in Red Wing to celebrate, commemorate and educate.

Highlights from this year's convention begin with the unveiling of the convention commemorative, followed by an opening welcome and speech from keynote speaker Hannes Kuehen, a modeler/designer at Red Wing Pottery from 1956-57.

Other events throughout the three-day convention include the 35th anniversary balloon release, pottery show and sale plus Crock Fest, a fun-filled evening for everyone including music and food at Red Wing Central Parkfrom 5-9 p.m. July 13. Kid's activities include root beer floats, face painting and clay modeling. Music provided by The Cruisers.

When: Thursday July 12-Saturday July 14

Where: Red Wing High School

More info:

Prairie Island Powwow

Sometimes called wacipi, 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 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: Grand entries at 7 p.m. Friday July 13; 1 and 7 p.m. July 14; 1 p.m. July 15.

Where: Prairie Island

Cost: Free

Garden Tour

The Red Wing Arts Association presents its 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.

This popular self-guided tour features five private gardens, the Fairview Garden and a container garden show. Fairview Garden tour site will include the healing garden, labyrinths - permanent and canvas -- an establishment of a native prairie, floral themed art show in the cafeteria, permeable drive and demonstrations or information on healing arts.

Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer questions.

When: Sunday July 15

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, children's barnyard, MADD car exhibit, ugly cake contest, a mechanical bull, Redneck Olympics, kid's pedal pull and many animal exhibits.

When: Thursday July 18-Saturday July 21

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

More info:

Rivertown Days

The Hastings festival includes fun, games and entertainment for the entire family. Events over the three-day celebration include amateur singing contest; Edina Realty medallion hunt; amateur photography contest; trout fishing demonstrations; live music from the Johnny Holm Band, Nick Fox, Kooky Uncle Tony; tennis tournament; arts and crafts fair; pancake breakfast and a grand parade.

When: Friday July 20-Sunday July 22

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. This year the charming little village burgeons into the best art fair venue around.

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 such offerings as meatloaf struan with horseradish marmalade, wood fired pizza, portabella mushroom sandwiches and many local specialties. Talented local musicians such as Patchouli and Yata perform onstage throughout the day.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday July 21

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

Cost: Free

More info:

Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival

This event is expected to draw wine and art lovers from the Upper Midwest to beautiful Hannah's Bend Park on the banks of the Cannon River. Visitors can taste exceptional Minnesota wines, browse through talented artist booths and enjoy local talent and cuisine.

The festival is sponsored by the Sons of the American Legion, with all proceeds going toward the construction of the Veteran Memorial in East Riverside Park.

When: Saturday July 21-Sunday July 22

Where: Hannah's Bend Park, Cannon Falls

Cost: Art fair is free, $20 allows wine tasting from ten or more Minnesota wineries from noon to 4 p.m. both days

More info: 651-492-5512

Little Log House Antique Power Show

The three-day 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, music and more.

When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday July 27-Sunday July 29

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 John Wayne and the Pain, Dred I Dread, Innocent, the I-Roots Band and 9Tomorrows.

When: Friday July 27-Sunday July 29

Where: N673 825th St., Hager City

More info: 715-792-2417 or

Dog Days of Stockholm

Hightail it to a dog-friendly festival along the banks of beautiful Lake Pepin. Meet rescued dogs in need of permanent homes. Enter your dog in the Best Smile contest. Watch agility demos and see a border collie herd ducks. Visit pet-related vendors and exhibits. It's a good time in lovely surroundings for both people and dogs.

When: Saturday Aug. 4

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

Cost: $5

More info:

Cruisin' Days

Take a Friday evening cruise on scenic country roads with the Cannon Cruisers Car Club, then join in the fun and excitement of the annual Fireman's Street Dance downtown Cannon Falls. Saturday visit the classic car show at Hannah's Bend Park. Concessions available.

When: Friday Aug. 3-Saturday Aug. 4


More info: 507-263-2289

River City Days

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

When: Friday Aug. 3-Sunday Aug. 5

Where: Bay Point Park, Red Wing

Cost: Free

More info:

Barn Fest

Red House Records presents Barn Fest. Enjoy a full day of some of the best singer/songwriters in folk and roots music. The popular summer music festival takes place in the setting at Hobgoblin Music's outdoor amphitheater. The preliminary lineup is Lucy Kaplansky, Bill Staines, Drew Nelson, Dean Magraw, Willie Murphy, Natilia Zukerman, The High 48's, Black Audience and the Minnesota Songwriter Spotlight with Red House's own Jon Rodine.

The family friendly event will also feature KIDFEST with music performances as well as activities for kids of all ages.

When: 1-7:30 p.m. Saturday Aug. 4

Where: Hobgoblin Music Loft, 920 Highway 19

Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the gate, free for ages 12 and under

More info: 651-388-8400 or 877-866-3936 or

Parrot-head Party

The Harbor Bar hosts a day of live music including the duo Jambo & Amy M. from noon to 4 p.m., Sonny Ray from 4 to 8 p.m. and Stoney Savanna from 8 p.m. to midnight. There will also be a limbo contest at 4 p.m.

When: Saturday Aug. 4

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 barn, animal judging, carnival, grandstand packed with live entertainment and the beer garden. Don't miss the youth cooking contest, cell phone texting contest or the ugliest hat contest.

When: Tuesday Aug. 7-Sunday Aug. 12

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 unique 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. 9-Sunday Aug. 12

Where: Fairgrounds, 364 N. Maple St., Ellsworth

Cost: $5 daily, $10 seasonal pass

More info:

Country Music Festival

The Harbor Bar presents a two-day music festival complete with a free mechanical bull. Look for live entertainment from NightFire, Swamp Dog and Generation.

When: Friday Aug. 17-Saturday Aug. 18

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