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Brandenburg, Brule part of Cardinal Pride Weekend

LUVERNE — From enjoying birds and blooms on the prairie to supporting all things connected to the hometown school, Luverne will host a three-day celebration this Friday through Sunday in what is being dubbed Cardinal Pride Weekend, with a special Day for the Prairie events on Sunday.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Luverne High School’s only state basketball title, the community is rolling out the red and white for numerous events, from the “All Things Cardinal” and “1964 State Basketball” shows at the Carnegie Cultural Center to a Cardinal Strut 5K run and 1-mile walk and a Cardinal Picnic and Cardinal Capers.

“Five members of the 1964 team, including three starters, will speak at the ’All Things Cardinal’ Show,” said Luverne Area Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere. “It’s going to be a fun reminiscing.”

Any Luverne Public School alumnus — or proud supporter of Luverne Public Schools — is welcome to attend any and all Cardinal Pride events, she added.

Activities get under way Friday with the opening of the Cardinal Pride Store at the Luverne National Guard Armory from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will also be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The All Things Cardinal and 1964 State Basketball shows will be presented at the Carnegie from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

On Friday evening, the public is invited to “Growing Up on a Gravel Road,” an evening of music, stories, comedy routines and entertainment fashioned after the Prairie Home Companion program. The 5 p.m. performance at the Palace Theatre was written by 1970 Luverne High School graduate Bruce Kurtz.

“He did ‘Christmas at the Palace’ for Margaret Vegge,” noted Lanphere.

Kurtz will be joined on stage by fellow LHS graduate Bill Keitel, along with Rob Lumbard, the Eric Hovey Band and flautist Jane Estenson-Strauman.

Reserved seating is available for the show, with tickets available for purchase in advance at the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce or on Friday at the door. All proceeds from the show will go toward continued support of the LHS Alumni News.

Following the event, musicians will perform at the Bluestem restaurant.

On Saturday, registration begins at 9 a.m. for the Cardinal Strut 5K Run and 1-mile Walk.

Pre-registration may also be completed online at The race will begin at 10 a.m.

The Cardinal Picnic and Cardinal Capers will begin with a 5:30 p.m. social hour at the Blue Mound Banquet Center, followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner. A program, “The Has Beens,” featuring members of the 1964 basketball team and cheerleaders will follow the meal.

In conjunction with Cardinal Pride Weekend, Luverne native Jim Brandenburg will return to his roots for several events Sunday in celebration of A Day for the Prairie.

Brandenburg, a world-renowned photographer who once captured images for the Daily Globe, will take part in numerous activities throughout the day.

Kicking things off in the morning will be a visit to the Touch the Sky Prairie, located north of Luverne. Established by the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation, the land includes numerous varieties of prairie flowers and grasses.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take guests on a morning walk on the prairie. The free event will include information about the fragile ecosystem on the prairie. Then, at 10:30 a.m., the Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers will share their stories of the prairie, Native American culture and the history of the sacred Pipestone pipes.

Few tickets remain for the Brunch at the Bluestem from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The event, which includes special guests Jim and Judy Brandenburg, will feature an elegant plated brunch created by Chef Skylar Hoiland, owner of the Bluestem.

Brandenburg will then share stories and a collection of his photographs during a 2 p.m. program Sunday at the Palace Theatre in downtown Luverne. Brandenburg’s presentation will be accompanied by Michael Monroe.

“Jim just sort of completed his 90 Days of Spring (project),” Lanphere said. “He’ll share some of those slides with us from the prairie.”

Reserved seating is available for the program, and tickets may be purchased in advance at the Luverne Area Chamber.

Capping off the weekend will be a 6:30 p.m. performance at the Palace by Brulé, featuring Worthington native Paul Summers LaRoche and his band, along with Native American dancers.

“Paul will talk a little bit about the prairie, and they’re going to perform,” Lanphere said. “It’s going to be a great night in Luverne — great entertainment.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for any of the events, contact the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce, (507) 283-4061.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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