Have fun and support a great cause at RideAbility’s 14th Annual Barn Dance. The event kicks off with horse rides and fun for all.
“We’ve got horse rides for parents and kids,” said Jeanie Michelizzi, RideAbility executive director. “We’ve got face painting, spirit painting (painting on horses), miniature horses, and a petting zoo.”
As the horse rides and other activities wrap up, the dance begins on RideAbility’s indoor arena.
“It’s a barn dance,” Michelizzi said. “You don’t need to wear special clothes, you don’t even need to know how to dance. We’ll have a caller calling out moves and the SEMYO Fiddlers providing the music.”
Admission to the event is free, though there will be suggested donations for each activity. Money raised will go toward supporting RideAbilty’s mission to provide therapeutic, assisted horseback riding opportunities to children and adults with special needs and their families.
“Each year more than 200 people come out here to ride. We are very family focused. The more the entire family participates, the better,” said Michelizzi, a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International certified instructor.
“The main bulk of our riding occurs in evening classes we hold in the spring, summer and fall. We also offer private and semi-private lessons as well as One Time Fun Times which allow (often times totally inexperienced) riders to come out and try it without committing to a class or lessons.”
Started in 1997, the nonprofit is staffed by volunteers who take care of everything including the horses’ daily needs (feeding, grooming, mucking stalls), oversee the upkeep of the horses (veterinarian and farrier visits) and facility (indoor arena, outdoor arena, sensory trail), and assist with the classes and lessons.
“We have 70 or 80 volunteers who are hands-on in the classes, with the horses and riders, and a lot more who are active behind the scenes,” said Michelizzi, who houses RideAbility on her family farm. “We always need more volunteers and can take volunteers 14 years old (work independently) or younger (work with an adult). We have a lot of volunteer positions available, but if you are interested in working with the horses, we need side walkers and horse leaders and are scheduling those trainings now.”
If you go
What: RideAbility’s 14th Annual Barn Dance
Where: 10038 County Highway 5, Pine Island
When: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
On the web: www.rideability.org
More about RA
• Go on a horse ride at RideAbility’s Rochesterfest Pony Up event, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 20 at Rochester Pet and Country Store. Suggested donation, $5.
• On July 8, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., RideAbility is hosting Horses for Heroes, an open house that offers horse and wagon rides, music, and food.
• RideAbility will offer horse rides July 30 through Aug. 2, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Olmsted County Free Fair. Suggested donation, $5.
Just a buck
Wehrenberg Theatre’s Family Summer Series kicks off next week. At 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 6, families are invited to watch a second-run family film for just $1 per ticket. Next week’s movie is “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (June 3 and 4). Other upcoming movies include “Annie” (June 17 and 18), “Dolphin Tale 2” (July 15 and 16), and “Paddington” (July 22 and 23). Go to www.wehrenberg.com to find out more.
Is there more? Paragon Chateau 14 kicks off its Free Summer Movies series on June 23 with “Rio 2.” Open to families of all ages, the series runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 10 a.m., through Aug. 21 and includes family favorites like “The Book of Life,” “The Croods,” and “Epic.” Go to www.paragontheaters.com for more information.
From 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, families are asked to bring empty aluminum cans and pop tabs to Ronald McDonald House’s Cans for Kids, 850 Second St. SW. Cans will be collected in a McNeilus truck and recycled for cash with the proceeds benefiting the families who stay at RMH. Call 507-282-3955 to find out more.
How much? Your family’s 30 cans add up to one pound, and right now one pound of cans is recycling for 50 cents. Over the past six years, your 50 cents plus others’ 50 cents have added up to more than $13,000 for the families at RMH. Learn more at www.rmhmn.org.
Catch the act at the SkiDox Water Ski Show. The SkiDox team offers a water ski show every Wednesday, May 27 through Sept. 2, at Fisherman’s Inn on Lake Zumbro in Oronoco, at 7 p.m. (May, June, and July). The time changes to 6:30 p.m. in August. If you aren’t sitting down to dinner at Fisherman’s Inn, bring a lawn chair and take a seat along the shore. Although there is no admission fee, freewill donations are collected.
Is there more? In addition to the Wednesday shows, SkiDox also offers a number of additional special shows including July 4th (1 p.m.) and Labor Day (1 p.m.). Go online, www.skidox.com, for a complete list of all the SkiDox shows.
Reel in a big one at Whitewater State Park’s I Can Fish, Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon, through Sept. 6. Designed to introduce inexperienced anglers of all ages to the fun that is trout fishing, fishing licenses and trout stamps are not required. Equipment is provided, but bring your own bait (worms). The program is free, however a park pass $5 (daily) or $25 (annual) is required. Call 507-932-3007 with questions.
What else? Whitewater offers a variety of free, family-friendly programming all summer long. Upcoming programs include Summer Bat Count (May 29), Frogs and Toads (May 30), and Owl Prowl (June 5).