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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Ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes have been busy with a variety of birds, ducks, geese and swans with the budding new season. Swans are rare to the area and are either migrating through or nesting, according to Red Wing local Shannon Walker. The self-proclaimed "swaner" has had an infatuation with the family of birds known for their elegance, iconic beauty and pristine cultural value her entire life. "It's so strange to see them here," Walker said, who recently spotted the pure white male swan near the waters of Pottery Pond.
As the sounds of spring blossom outdoors, the Sheldon Theatre welcomes in the new season with the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and its spring concert, "Brass Fantasy." Heading into its 21st season of brassy music-making excellence, the band will produce its trademark traditional British-style brass music and play a broad variety of musical styles. "There will be two big pieces," said John Mundy, Wabasha. Mundy, who plays the B-flat cornet in the band, described the two largest ballads of the show.
From portraits to wildlife, from eclectic to everyday scenes, Red Wing Photography Club members will showcase selected works this spring at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. "Undiscovered: A Collection of Works from the Red Wing Photography Club" also will be a visual representation of one of Minnesota's largest photography clubs. The exhibition's opening will begin with a public reception in the center's historic residence at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Fifteen local restaurants showcasing their signature food items will be featured at the fifth annual Taste Buds & Business, the major spring networking event held by the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. The mouth-watering exhibition, held in the Summit at the St. James Hotel, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Attendees go around and sample food while networking with chamber members. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the chamber and from ambassadors. This year the event will include a drive for the Red Wing Area Food Shelf, so donations of a canned goods or money will be accepted.
The Phoenix Theatre's latest production showcases "Morning's at Seven" at the Sheldon Theatre. The 1980 Tony Award-winning show has brought together a pool of local talent heavy on comedy. A portrait of small Midwestern-town America, the story is about growing old, growing up and letting go. Authentic relationships between cast and crew are evident, even at an afternoon dress rehearsal. Giggles, hearty laughs and small improvisations on stage add to charm emitting from the talent of the group.
Signs of spring can be heard from the old gymnasium of Jefferson School as Red Wing High Schools students start their rigorous rehearsals for this year's spring musical, "The Phantom of the Opera." What has been called the world's most haunting love story, the musical has got the kids buzzing with excitement. Director Sean Dowse, who enjoys the process, said their goal is to achieve "artistic merit." The famed piece stands as the longest running show on Broadway and will have its RWHS debut performance with a vocally embellished show.
Nearly 2,000 pawn-enthused fans flocked to the Event Center at Treasure Island Resort & Casino despite snow-blanketed highways Sunday. The commotion revolved around the History Channel's "Pawn Stars," several of whom graced the local stage during their debut tour. The dealmakers of the show, including the Harrison clan of Rick, Corey and Chumlee, answered questions and demonstrated their expertise at offering money for hundreds of treasures and gems. Randy Ernst of Hastings sat with Chumlee as he pondered over some rare Hamm's Beer collectibles.
Editor's note: Reporter Stacy Bengs traveled with her fiance to Hawaii where they played disc golf and camped. Traveling is an exciting experience no matter where the destination. Whether the sun is heating up your skin on the beaches of Maui or white-capped colossal mountains reflect against crystal lakes in the bay of Alaska, the adventures a person can create while exploring new territory are endless, especially when a common interest can create a bond with a local twist.
The Event Center lineup Pawn Stars -- doors open at 9 a.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25. Kenny Rogers -- concert is 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $38 and $48. Vince Gill -- concert is 8 p.m. March 25. Tickets are $55 or $65. Ray Price -- concert is 8 p.m. March 27. Tickets are $20 and $30. Sylvia Browne -- concert is 8 p.m. April 21. Tickets are $38 and $48. Canadian Tenors -- concert is 8 p.m. April 30. Tickets are $25 and $35 Heat will rise from the Event Center at Treasure Island Resort & Casino as the spring thaw slowly approaches.
In honor of Presidents Day, Red Wing citizens take a moment to answer a simple question. "Who is your favorite president and why?" Jim Morrison, social studies teacher at the Red Wing High School Teddy Roosevelt, 26th president, 1901-1909. "He is prominent political figure that believed in war enough to resign and go fight." Major Kris Johnson, Goodhue County Sheriff's Office. Thomas Jefferson, third president from 1801-1809.