The Free Press
— Thumbs up: Dignity. Humility. Friendliness. These are the qualities we like in our royalty, and it was all on display last week at Gustavus Adolphus College. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were welcomed at the college with pomp and ceremony, and in return they revealed more than a little warmth.
The visit was in honor of the GAC sesquicentennial and it was all wonderfully orchestrated with just the right amount of stately ceremony mixed in with some elbow-rubbing with the regular people among us. In the best of circumstances, Americans prefer that royals exude the expected class and grace but also know how to relate to us commoners.
His Majesty and the queen were wonderfully up to the task, displaying a genuine warmth and humility along with the requisite royal style.
Here’s to McGowan’s sarsaparilla saloon
Thumbs up: To Jack McGowan and his endless amount of energy to improve offerings for children and families at McGowan’s Farm. Today at History Fest, thirsty festival-goers can belly up to the new Sarsaparilla Saloon for a cold 1919 Root Beer.
The farm is not only McGowan’s home, but an escape for kids and families who want a piece of rural adventure. From riding a zip line to sawing logs, there are activities that some parents have nightmares about. But McGowan has been hosting groups at the farm for years and keeps adding amenities that keep people coming back.
Today’s History Fest is the crowning achievement for the farm. Re-enactors and activities with a historic theme — from cannon shooting to sheep shearing — are on the docket from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
McGowan has created a unique playground for the area. Checking out History Fest and paying $5 admission is a small way of thanking him for his hard work and dedication to the area’s youth.
Cheers to Bier on Belgrade
Thumbs up: To the organizers of the first Bier on Belgrade event that proved to be a tasty event for all in the heart of the city in downtown North Mankato.
While the participants in the outdoor craft beer sampling event last week had to endure 40-degree temperatures, their enthusiasm didn’t seem dampened. Beerfests have been staples in other small towns and they seem to draw a reasonable, mature crowd just out to have a good time with their friends and neighbors.
The Business on Belgrade Association organized the event and we hope it can continue in the years ahead. The Octoberfest-like event featured food and drink and live music. For $15 people got a sample of 10 different beers, a collector stein and one free stein of beer.
Even better, $5 of every admission fee was donated to the BackPack Food Program and Echo Food Shelf.
Bier on Belgrade was a good event for the community and the causes it helped.
River Ramble shows success again
Thumbs up: To the organizers of the second River Ramble bike ride through beautiful rural Mankato.
The event drew more than 1,000 riders again and, while the weather was cool, many found a way to enjoy one of two routes — the traditional 42 mile route and a shorter 26-mile route that made a stop at the Rapidan Dam store for a slice of legendary pie.
It’s a great event that promotes physical activity and shows off the great landscape of the Minnesota River Valley.
Wacipi a success with community’s help
The Mahkato Mdewakanton Association extends our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the many people who attended this year’s wacipi.
This would not take place without the continued support from the cities of Mankato and North Mankato and the many, many volunteers who come forward to assist with various tasks that need to be done.
Thank you to local, individual, regional and tribal donations and in-kind services from individuals, local businesses and the local colleges.
We had over 9,000 people attend this year and broke the record in button sales.
Thank you to those who helped in making the 40th Mahkato Wacipi a great success.
Dave Larsen, chairman
Mahkato Mdewakanton Association