JACKSON -- Organizers and community members are already gearing up for the twin festivals in Jackson this weekend -- Race Days and the Rhythm of the River. This year's highlights will include a parade, with flyovers by the T-6 Flight Team, a hog roast, free movie matinees and a variety of musical entertainment on the main stage at Ashley Park. New to Race Days this year is the Sanford Kids Tri for Health, a triathlon for kids from 5 to 17 years old. "It's a fun event for kids of every skill level, with swimming, biking and running," said Marilyn Reese, executive director of the Jackson Area
JACKSON -- The city of Jackson is ready to rock as the Rhythm of the River festival kicks off at 6:30 p.m.
SLAYTON -- An epic battle of the titans played out in warm sunshine and softened dirt Saturday at the Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton, as seven Wirock men struggled against seven Chandler men to see who would become the tug of war champions of Murray County. Seven teams from seven towns and one unincorporated community in Murray County were pitted against each other, first in preliminary rounds to determine which teams would be best matched together in the actual tournaments, and then in serious competition. The contest was part of Slayton's Days of '87 celebration.
WORTHINGTON -- Thousands of people gathered on the Nobles County Government Center lawn Friday and Saturday to enjoy the International Festival, tasting food, purchasing gifts, watching dances and listening to music from the many cultures of Worthington. "I think it's good, it's beautiful," said Kahala Johnson of Worthington, who attended the International Festival for the first time this year.
WORTHINGTON -- The Historic Dayton House started the summer with a bang this year, receiving a $7,000 grant, installing a new sound system, beginning an endowment fund and getting set for summer luncheons, teas and happy hours. "I'm just so thrilled," said Becky Schilling, the house manager. "It's neat there are people that are proud of the house, that they're willing to do that." Schilling was referring to the new sound system installed on the building's first floor, donated by Marvin and Jeanine Spomer and installed by Ron Vogel.
WORTHINGTON -- The annual County Breakfast on the Farm Saturday will offer people a chance to see a thoroughly modern dairy farm and enjoy a free pancake breakfast to boot. The breakfast will be hosted by the Ocheda Dairy, located at 30581 Nobles County 57, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. "Hopefully people can come out, have a good time, see the facilities, if that's what they'd like to do, and, hopefully, walk away with a little more knowledge about the dairy farming process," said Joe Vander Kooi, who owns and operates the dairy along with his father, Dave Vander Kooi.
LAKEFIELD -- Summerfest 2009 will offer plenty of traditions from years gone by as well as some new activities, including a children's pet show, a ballroom-style dance and an art show featuring local artists. "It's a good time to get together with friends of the past, see cars of the past, partake in activities and show your local spirit -- and meet people from other towns that you may not have seen for a while," said Tawn Hall, a member of the Summerfest Committee. "It's a blast!" New to the festival is a ballroom-style dance under the tent on Main Street from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.
FULDA -- With the U.S. economy still on shaky ground, it seems like everyone is looking for a bargain, and now local shoppers have another bargain-hunting venue to check out -- the Jumble Thrift Shop in Fulda. "It's been good. Everybody in town has been excited," said Karsten Piper, who started the business with his wife, Shelly, and their three children, Abel, 5, Frances, 8 and Millie, 10. "Everybody's bringing their stuff to us." The thrift store, located at 209 North St. Paul Ave.
LUVERNE -- Chilly weather and an occasional sprinkling of rain didn't stop more than 500 people from turning out for free buffalo sandwiches Sunday at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne. "It's a nice community effort," said Jane Wildung Lanphere, director of the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce. "This is wonderful.
WORTHINGTON -- For Minneapolis-based band Nikki and the RueMates, playing at the Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival will be coming home -- all three musicians in the group hail from southwest Minnesota. This will be the second year the blues-folk band has played at the Regatta. "It was a really nice time last year," said the group's guitarist and lead singer, Nikki Matteson. "We saw quite a few people -- friends we haven't seen in a while." Bass player Carrie Deans, guitarist Rich Rue and Matteson are all from Jackson County.