Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Just another reason to appreciate Northfield, Minnesota August 6, 2019

On a corner along Division Street in historic downtown Northfield, Minnesota.

 

WE ARRIVED IN NORTHFIELD to find the city abuzz. Or rather abuzz and resounding with the sound of music.

Randy swung the van into the first open parking spot, surprisingly just off Division Street and a short walk from Bridge Square, headquarters for the Vintage Band Festival. On this lovely August early evening, we headed toward the sound of music, rounded the corner by the post office and observed an audience packing the square and spilling onto the closed street. At that moment I wished for lawn chairs. These obvious seasoned fest attendees brought theirs. Without chairs, we settled onto the curb just a door down from the former First National Bank (now the Northfield Historical Society), site of the famous Jesse James-Cole Younger Gang bank raid. We listened to a few songs before deciding we couldn’t sit like this any longer. Maybe if we were younger…

 

Territorial Brass performs in Armory Square’s green space.

 

From there we aimed toward our destination, Reunion, a new restaurant in town. But first, we decided to check out another concert, this one in the Armory Square green space. Here, Arizona’s official historical brass band performed territorial period music. Territorial Brass band members, dressed in period attire, replicate the music of vintage brass bands in Arizona and New Mexico. And bonus, a vocal soloist, “Violet,” sang along with the instrumentalists. What a delight to hear the band, among some 40 performing during 100 concerts over the four-day Vintage Band Festival.

 

Soloist and band spokesperson, “Violet,” walked through the crowd while singing.

 

After listening for awhile, we left to dine at the new eatery. But, once inside Reunion, we learned the wait would be 45 minutes. I was disappointed, too hungry to wait. Had we known this, we would have reserved a dining spot earlier and awaited the text that our table was ready. Live and learn.

 

Among those listening to Territorial Brass.

 

Anyway, no matter, we appreciated the vintage music that added another reason to stop in Northfield on a beautiful Minnesota summer evening.

TELL ME: Have you ever attended Northfield’s Vintage Band Festival or a similar vintage band festival?

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Advertisements
 

In Winona, Part IV: Uniquely Winonan January 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,
Pulling a barge down the Mississippi River in Winona in September 2015.

Pulling a barge down the Mississippi River in Winona in September 2015.

WINONA IS A RIVER TOWN. A college town. A place of history, historic buildings, memorable businesses. And more, much more.

A few cars, some vintage, managed to sneak into the drive-in among all the tractors.

My award-winning photo taken at the Lakeview Drive Inn. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2014.

I’ve savored homemade root beer at the iconic Lakeview Drive Inn in Winona.

Bloedow's Bakery is located at 451 E. Broadway St. in Winona.

Bloedow’s Bakery is located at 451 E. Broadway St. in Winona. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo September 2014.

I’ve tasted a bacon-topped, maple-iced long john from Bloedow’s Bakery.

Worn, vintage business signage always catches my eye.

Worn, vintage business signage always catches my eye.

And I wish I’d had time to duck into Sloppy Joe’s Liquor to grab a beer and maybe a sloppy joe, if the sandwich is served there, and to hear the story behind the bar’s name.

I shot this scene of The Penguin Zesto in September 2015.

I shot this scene of The Penguin Zesto in September 2015.

The same goes for The Penguin Zesto. What’s with that name? The drive-in was closed when I visited Winona. No ice cream for me on that September day. Only questions. I always have questions.

Winona has some lovely old homes, this one photographed in September 2015.

Winona has some lovely old homes, this one photographed in September 2015.

FYI: Check back tomorrow for another post in my series from Winona.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling