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.
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"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me..." Cue the air guitar as the bombastic ballad plays through your head. The 1977 Styx song hints at your next activity to add to the growing list of local adventures. Lake Pepin offers much more than just a priceless view of beauty, relief from the heat, fishing haven or even the birthplace of waterskiing. If you really want to experience the sheer power, depth and life of the lake while tuning in to your surroundings, it's time to try sailing.
What started as a simple gathering of talented, outgoing, enthusiastic art-lovers on the shore of Lake Pepin has turned into an art fair that far out-numbers residents of this tiny town. The Stockholm Art Fair was established in 1974 by a creative community. Back then, artists who had recently moved to the area held the art fair as a way to "let the people know who we were and what we did." The thinking was that if no one showed up, it would be just a picnic. But people did come to the upstart fair along the Mississippi River.
Rivers, bluffs, valleys and even fields are a common backdrop for local artists and the everyday passersby alike. Daily encounters with such landscapes are mandatory for our area, some perhaps taking advantage of the ever-changing natural beauty. Red Wing resident Mark Abrahamson has found an invigorating exploration of the land from an authentic angle. For the last 25 years the photographer has captured aerial images exploring the nation's urban and rural environments.
Summer road trips are a right of a passage for the average American. Cruisin' the highways and byways of the good ol' USA with an open mind, a map and an itinerary has been a quintessential part of our culture, blossoming in the late 1930s upon the completion of Route 66. As the automobile industry boomed in the 1950s, cars became a part a tool of leisurely activity. Add the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System into the picture and the summer-vacation-road-trip pandemic was born.
Deep in his mind, Peter J. Miele conjures stories intertwining real life and fantasy. Call him what you want - a writer, musician or adventurer - any of those titles describes this mysterious, mischievous man of many thoughts. Best known as the mastermind behind the Trapman Comic series, Miele's obscurely interesting imagination first saw print in 1994.
The traditional Midsommer festival is a day centered on the summer solstice but more specifically refers to the European celebrations that occur. Locally, few communities participate in the international celebration of the year's longest day of sunlight. The village of Stockholm, Wis., is hands-down the leading celebratory community. The MidSommer Swedish Festival at the Stockholm Village Park is set for Saturday June 23.
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.
Tunes and lawnchairs soon will fill Central Park as the Red Wing Arts Association kicks off its summer concert series Wednesday June 13. "This is the most concerts and most exciting series we have sponsored," Executive Director Dan Guida said. "Our opening act will be amazing." The series will begin with family pop overtures from Sinfonia, featuring soprano Maria Jette. The professional orchestra will stop in town as part of its Greater Minnesota Touring summer schedule. The concert will feature Broadway and movie tunes, as well as marches, polkas, rags and more.
Jesse Steberg has learned not to take things for granted. As the lead vocalist for the increasingly popular upper Midwest group Lost Highway, Steberg is a walking testament of living life to the fullest - even when the odds are not in your favor. Seven years ago, Steberg broke his neck while snowmobiling. The accident left the Wanamingo-native stunned and silenced.
Whoever said practice makes perfect was right -- at least in disc jockey John Underwood's case. Performing under the name DJ Epistêmê (eh-pis-TEE-mee) Underwood has taken his eclectic music library from the notes to the turntable, working as a solo DJ and with Minneapolis-based hip-hop group Option Two as well as collective ensemble Rapfam. The 2000 Red Wing High School graduate college-hopped until he landed at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he started to take a real shot at pursuing a music career. "It didn't work to form bands with friends," Underwood recalls.