Lanesboro Rhubarb Festival
It’s rhubarb time! The 12th annual Lanesboro Rhubarb Festival kicks off Saturday, June 4, with the 5K Rhubarb Run along the Root River Trail. Then head to the Lanesboro Farmers Market and browse the in-season vegetables and other locally produced items. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The heart of the festival is located in Sylvan Park in downtown Lanesboro. Games and contests will include a tasting contest, where participants can taste a variety of rhubarb treats and vote for their favorite. Bring your favorite treat to the gazebo by 9:30 a.m. to register, and be sure to bring a copy of your recipe.
Other entertainment includes a rhubarb fashion show, an educational zoo, a story tree, pictures in a rhubarb cutout and Rhub-Art opportunities. Music will be playing the entire day, provided by the Rhubarb Sisters, Sweet Rhubarb, Hubba and Over the Waterfall.
The festival will focus on environmentally friendly practices this year. Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center will be demonstrating and teaching improved composting/recycling practices.
By Matt Stolle
Pine Island Cheese Festival
Say cheese! The Pine Island Cheese Festival is just around the corner, kicking off the summer’s area festivals. The event will run over four days, June 2 through June 5, and will include downtown food booths, a carnival, a tractor pull and a parade on Sunday.
The 80th annual celebration will feature a craft and vendor market at the heart of the festival in the community space behind Island Market. It will include hand-crafted items, home-based businesses and other vendors.
The fest will kick off with the Miss Pine Island Coronation on Thursday, followed by a “School’s Out for Summer” teen dance featuring the band 9th Planet Out. Adult street dances will be held Friday and Saturday nights featuring the bands Pop Rocks and Hitchville.
If climbing is your thing, there is a new climbing wall to tackle, or you can participate in the Pink Ribbon Run, the canoe/kayak race or the volleyball tournament. There will also be cheeses, wines and craft beers to sample at the Cheese, Wine and Beer Gala. Or watch the Mud Bog or Horse Mounted Shooters.
The weekend is free with some events requiring a $3 Cheese Festival button.
By Matt Stolle
Music in East Park in Zumbrota
A summer of music in the park gets underway Tuesday in Zumbrota’s East Park.
The free concerts are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday (with the exception of July 19) through Aug. 9. Music, of course, is the main attraction, along with a summer evening in the park. As if that’s not enough, there’s even free ice cream!
First up is an evening of old-fashioned music in the park with the Zumbrota Community Band on June 7.
In coming weeks, Darlene and the Boys perform June 14, Swing Street performs June 21, and the Polka Dots perform June 28. The concerts are organized by the Zumbrota Area Arts Council.
Patrons should bring lawn chairs for comfort. East Park is located on East Avenue, one block east of Main Street. In case of inclement weather, the concerts move inside the State Theatre at 96 E. Fourth St.
In conjunction with the concerts, a farmers market is held in East Park from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Tuesday.
By Tom Weber
Thursdays on First & Third
It’s just another Thursday, unless you live in Rochester. In that case, today is a major holiday. It’s the opening day of Thursdays on First and Third, Rochester’s weekly downtown summer celebration.
The popular street festival, with 100 craft, art and food vendors, and music on two stages, opens today. Crawl out from whichever cave you hibernated in this winter and welcome summer with the rest of us.
Downtown Rochester will be crowded — that’s a given. A lot of food and beverages will be consumed. You’ll bump into people you haven’t seen since, well, since last year’s Thursdays on First season ended in August.
Today’s noontime entertainment, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., consists of Brian Archer on the Peace Plaza stage, and Ventura Highway, playing ‘70s soft rock, on the First Avenue stage.
For the evening, the Peace Plaza stage will feature jazz, with the D’Sievers at 5 p.m. and the Bob Mamet Trio at 7 p.m. The First Avenue stage has the Morning Kings (jam, alternative acoustic rock) at 5 p.m. and the Charles Walker Band (neo-funk, soul) at 7 p.m.
Thursdays on First and Third is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday through August 25. Admission is free.
By Tom Weber