The dog days of summer are upon us—I’m talking about the temperature here—hot, sultry, above normal, those lazy, hot days at the end of summer. (For a nice explanation of what the phrase really means, visit nationalgeographic.com.) Once we get into August, the summer seems to pass quickly before our attention swings back toward the school year and sports and shopping. Well, don’t discount the summer yet. There’s still time to enjoy some laid-back fun about town and beyond. Grab some cold lemonade, take out your calendar, and see what appeals to you.
First up is this week’s “Night to Unite” at a neighborhood near you on Tuesday, August 7 from 5pm-8pm. For more information contact Officer Bart Wiese at Bart.email@example.com. The Night to Unite is a neighborhood meet-and-greet party. Get to know your neighbors and some of the people who help to keep you and your town safe—first responders from police, fire, and emergency medical services. Eat some food and make some friends; see them up close and personal. Sit in their cars and trucks; see the equipment they use, and talk to them about their jobs. Take some photos and make some good memories on this special community night.
Looking for a way to beat the heat without leaving town? Why not try taking a dip at the family friendly Northfield Old Memorial Pool? They have a zero entry area that gently slopes from shallow water to deep water, a wading pool, a diving board, and 50 meter lap lanes as well as a half-court basketball court, a climbing wall, and concession. Deck space and green lawn borders the pool area providing plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy the sun with your Northfield neighbors. See here for fees and rules.
Summer is a great time for reading and for checking out the special events at the local library. Visiting the library is always an adventure but many materials and services may be accessed online as well. This month you will find the library coming to you—Saturday mornings, that is, at the Riverwalk Market Fair. Look for the orange and blue BookBike from 8:30am-12:30pm and visit to see what books it is giving away. While you are at it, walk around the market, visit the vendors at the fair, and then come back for storytime at 11:00am. You will also find the BookBike on the move throughout the month on Tuesdays and Thursdays; check out where they will be around town. There is always something happening at the library.
If you are looking for something more social, then drive on over to Faribault for their Blue Collar BBQ Music and Arts Festival – 10th Anniversary edition. It is billed as “the Region’s Biggest Block Party.” Come taste the goods, enjoy the music, meet your friends and make new ones. The fun awaits you. For the latest information, visit their website here. If cars are more your thing and you missed the last few months’ events, you can still make the August Car Cruise Night on Friday, August 17. Only car enthusiasts can explain the excitement of peering under the hood of a late model something-or-other shiny black chrome-thingy 1960ish classic car. An enthusiast I am not but I can appreciate great cars in great condition when I see them. Come see for yourself and stay for the fun.
These events offer a little relief from those “dog days” but for several hours of refreshment and wonder, give this a try—star parties with the Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS). These are stargazing parties in the cool of the day, from 7pm-10pm away from the heat of urban structures. The Cherry Grove Observatory Star Party is August 10 in Kenyon, the August B-Sig Star Party will take place at Metcalf Field outside of St. Paul on August 11, and Camping With the Stars will be at Eagle Lake Observatory in Norwood-Young America on August 17-19. Check the schedule for other events. Be sure to investigate the site—there’s lots to read. You may want to pay special attention to the Guidelines, FAQs, general information about the night sky, what and where to look, what to do if it is cloudy, and information pertinent to each location. Whatever you choose to do this month, be safe and enjoy your summer explorations.