There is something charmingly timeless about Winter Walk. In many ways, it represents the best of what small-town Midwestern life has to offer. When the sun goes down, the lights come on, and seemingly everyone in town crowds onto Division Street to sing, shop, visit Santa, or take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon.  It’s hard to imagine Winter Walk anywhere else, and each year it just feels like it must have been a part of Northfield forever.

As tornadoes ripped through our community this September, we witnessed firsthand the devastating power of these storms and the loss they can cause.  But we also witnessed the power of natural disasters to bring communities together for the common good in ways both big and small.

Cute costumed kids begging for candy and eating hot dogs at the local fire station party—that’s the Halloween everyone likes to talk about.  But is that the same Halloween of the scary slasher movies and the haunted attractions that pop up every October?  Ghost stories and witches and pagan rituals always find their way into this holiday as well.

“From Ghoulies and ghosties And long-leggedly beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!” --Traditional Scottish Prayer

Who’s got the biggest pumpkins?  Where can you pick the crispiest apples?  And who’s got the most family friendly corn mazes?

Fall has officially arrived when the re-enactors ride into town.  Flowing dusters on horseback, shouting, and gun shots fill the streets.  Jesse James’ Gang is defeated once again, but at no small cost for Northfield.

It is summer and July is almost over so it must be time for the Vintage Band Festival.  The festival was founded in 2006 by Dr. Paul Niemisto to celebrate the best and the brassiest of traditional band music.  Bands from near and far will gather in downtown Northfield’s Bridge Square on July 28 for this year’s special one-day musical event.

What does July 4ths’ Independence Day mean to you?  Perhaps it means picnics with family; fireworks; patriotic concerts and parades, and lots of flag waving.  For all of us, Independence Day is a day to remember the wars fought to gain our freedoms and we do that by celebrating the victories and the sacrifices on our behalf with grateful hearts.

People gather together to celebrate everything—from births and birthdays to lives well lived, the anticipation of something new and the memories of times passed.  Celebrations are good and as old as time itself.  God rested on the seventh day of creation, not because He needed it but to acknowledge the work accomplished and the goodness of appreciation.

Some things were never meant to be forgotten, like the value of human life. This is not a western idea. Jesus of Nazareth taught over and over the need to live peaceably and to love everyone. Period.

Subscribe to Festivals & Holidays