Thursday, February 29, 2024


COVID-19 has limited our fun over the past two years. However, this summer most communities and groups are back to offering fun like we’ve been accustomed to enjoying for years! Have a happy and safe summer… packed with lots of fun activities throughout our region:


All Summer

Berne Wood-Fired Pizza Summer Concert Series, 5-8 p.m. Every Wednesday through August–Zwingli United Church of Christ, 23148 County Highway 24, West Concord. Wood-fired pizza ($23, specialty pizza and $18, cheese) is served picnic style with free concerts at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each night. Bring your own refreshments and lawn chairs.

Farmer’s Market- 7 a.m.-12 p.m. every Saturday through October–Central Park, Owatonna. The market features fresh vegetables, flowers and fun hand-crafted items from more than 80 vendors.

11 @ 7 Concert Series- 7-8:30 p.m. (generally) every Thursday until August–Central Park, Owatonna. This concert series features local music for the community to enjoy. Bring a lawn chair, sit back and relax. (specific concerts noted throughout the summer schedule below.)



Owatonna Summer Concert- June 9- Central Park- Owatonna, 7-8:30 p.m.- Ditch Creek Dixies (Country & Bluegrass). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Little Theatre Performance- June 10-12, and June 17-19 Little Theatre- Owatonna. “The Color of Stars.” Performances on June 10-11 and 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. and June 12 and June 19 at 2 p.m.

Breakfast on the Farm June 11- Owatonna. Join the Steele County American Dairy Association at the Schmitty Holsteins Farm by Owatonna. Breakfast served from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free bus transportation available from the Steele County Fairgrounds starting at 8 a.m. Cost $5 per person, children 5 and under free.

Heritage Days- June 15-18, Faribault. Citywide garage sale, 150th Anniversary exhibit, beer garden, bingo, cardboard boat race, concert in the park, craft show, Lumberjacks X-cutting and axe throwing and log rolling. Grand parade is Saturday, June 18 at 6:15 p.m. More information at

Owatonna Summer Concert- June 16- Central Park- Owatonna, 7-8:30 p.m.- Generation Gap (Classic Soft Rock). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Straight River Days June 16-18– Medford. Since 1971, Medford residents have enjoyed this festival. Enjoy a weekend celebration in Medford with fun events for all ages. Some past favorites include the Miss Medford Pageant, city-wide garage sales, parade, music in the park, 5k run/walk, volleyball tournament, Younglife sponsored Kid’s Zone, Muni street dance, and more. For details, visit

Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival 11 a.m. June 18–Downtown Owatonna. Sit back and enjoy the annual band festival. 12 bands from around Minnesota will perform their summer routines. Visit

Sumi Painting Workshop- June 18- Owatonna Arts Center. Workshop features artist Dee Teller. More information at

Owatonna Summer Concert- June 23- Central Park- Owatonna. Owatonna Community Band performs from 7-8 p.m. Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Hayfield Sesquicentennial- June 23-26- Come and help Hayfield celebrate 150 years. Festivities planned all weekend. Parade is on June 26 at 2 p.m. More details at

Minnesota Cutting Horse Association- June 24-26- Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna. Show featuring the greatest equine athletes in the world–cutting horses.

Ellendale Days June 24-26– Ellendale. This annual old-fashioned country town celebration of Ellendale history is a family favorite. Polka music will be heard, and good food will be enjoyed. Event information will be posted on the event’s Facebook page.

Stagecoach Days June 24-26–Mantorville. Visit the Minnesotan frontier town and reminisce on the Victorian era through this celebration. Includes a street dance, mini horse wagon rides, petting zoo, stagecoach rides, fiddlers’ contest, bean bag tournament, bingo, axe throwing and more. More information can be found at the event’s Facebook page.

Annual Ice Cream Social- June 26, 3-7 p.m.- St. John Church Claremont. Annual ice cream social and bake and craft sale.

Owatonna Summer Concert- June 30- Central Park- Owatonna. Los Tequilaros (Classic Rock & Tex-Mex). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.



Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration July 2-4–Blooming Prairie. Famous for the largest Independence Day celebration in Southern Minnesota, the inviting city of Blooming Prairie welcomes all sorts of visitors again this year. Over 35,000 people will come to take part in festivities such as viewing antique tractors and tractor pulls, car shows, run/walk events, competitions, and many other forms of entertainment, all with plenty of food and drink. Fireworks at 10 p.m. on July 4. Contact the Blooming Prairie Chamber of Commerce at 507-583-4472 for more details.

Lakefest 2022- July 4, 3 p.m. to dusk at Clear Lake Park in Waseca. Music, games and fun. Admission is free. Fireworks at dusk. More details at

Fourth of July Fireworks 10 p.m. July 4–Owatonna Fairgrounds. Wrap up your celebration of Independence Day with free seating for fireworks at the Steele County Fairgrounds.

Eco-Blitz Waste Week July 6-9–J.C. Hormel Nature Center, Austin. Learn about the importance of environmental care through a week of different activities. Participants must RSVP for individual events by calling 507-437-7519. A full schedule for the week can be found at

Owatonna Summer Concert- July 7, 7-8:30 p.m.- Main Street Downtown Thursday- Branded (Country). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Steele County Historical Society Extravaganza July 10–Village of Yesteryear, Owatonna. The annual extravaganza is a fun day to relive and celebrate Steele County’s history for a day with historic demonstrations, music, theater, games, food and fun.

Owatonna Summer Concert- July 14, 7-8:30 p.m.- Central Park- Owatonna. Little Chicago (60s-70s Horn Band). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Gus’ Station Car Show- July 16–Steele County Historical Society from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. More than 100 cars will be welcomed into the parking lot to showcase all that makes these automobiles unique and historic. Registration is only $10 per car with entrance being free for all visitors. Awards will be given out to the best cars.

Dodge County Free Fair- July 13-17, Kasson. The oldest fair in the state of Minnesota will be a fun event for all once again this year. The fair will include many old favorite events, such as great food, livestock displays, and carnival rides, but will also feature new events that the whole family will be sure to love. For more information, visit, contact, or call the fair office at 507-213-9950.

Waseca County Fair- July 13-17, Waseca. Summer’s best party comes to life in Waseca. More details at

Good Neighbor Days- July 14-17, Byron. Fun, fireworks, food and so much more. Citywide garage sales, medallion hunt, Mexican Fiesta, live music and firefighter’s dance. Fireworks display at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 15. Parade on Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m. More details at

Secret Garden Tour 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. July 17–Owatonna. The gardens featured on tour will be throughout the Owatonna area. Maps to visit these gardens will be available at the Owatonna Arts Center on the day of the tour. For those who would like their garden to be a part of this tour or for any questions regarding the event, contact the Owatonna Arts Center at 507-451-0533 or

Rice County Fair- July 20-24. Faribault. “Where the city meets the farm.” More details at

Owatonna Summer Concert- July 21, 7-9 p.m. GEM Days Celebration. Street Talk (Rock). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Legion Auxiliary Flower Show- July 21. Blooming Prairie Servicemen’s Club- Flower Show Luncheon and Basket Raffle.

Survival Days July 21-24–West Concord. Join in a weekend of activities designed to celebrate survival with family and friends. There will be a tractor pull, car show, parade, music, dancing, food and drink. During this time a new Miss West Concord will be crowned. For information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

North Star Ag Expo- July 26-28- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on July 26, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 27 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 28. Admission free. Ritchie Brothers Auction- Medford. New and exciting first time outdoor ag show. Featuring the highest quality agricultural industry representatives and service providers. More information at

Owatonna Summer Concert- July 28, 7-8 p.m. Central Park- Owatonna. Owatonna Community Band. Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Art on the Hills- July 28-29–Owatonna Arts Center, Owatonna. Local community members' art will be on display to be enjoyed this weekend. From jewelry to photography to sculptures, there will be something for every art lover. Vendors will be available at this event. Visit for an application to include personal art in this fair.

Blooming Prairie Ribfest- July 30, 4-8 p.m. Blooming Prairie Servicemen’s Club. 11th annual Ribfest. Activities include: “Go Goette 5K,” bean bag tournament, kids activities including hamburger cookoff, dunk tank, obstacle course, bouncy houses, face painting, crafts, youth dance, live auction and music entertainment. Ribfest supports the Blooming Prairie Youth Club.

Litomysl Summer Festival- July 31- Holy Trinity Catholic Church- Litomysl. 50th annual Summer Festival featuring Polka Mass, silent auction, food, baked goods, produce, plants and live music with Dan Stursa Band and Klecker Band. More details at



National Night Out Celebrations- Tuesday, Aug. 2. Area law enforcement agencies will be holding celebrations in honor of National Night Out. There will be celebrations in Owatonna, Blooming Prairie and Ellendale in Steele County and Kasson and Mantorville in Dodge County.

Freeborn County Fair- Aug. 2-7–Albert Lea. This fair is known for its top notch entertainment and performers! Some to be included this year are Neal McCoy, King and Country and 38 Special. Classic fair activities will also be held. For more information, visit

Owatonna Summer Concert- Aug. 4, 7-8:30 p.m. Central Park- Owatonna. Main Street Downtown Thursday. Murphy Brothers (Rock). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Dodge County Relay for Life- 4:30 p.m. Aug. 5–Dodge County Fairgrounds, Kasson. Help raise money for the American Cancer Society and honor those who have been diagnosed by participating in an assortment of Relay for Life Events.

Claremont Hog Fest- Aug. 5-7, Claremont. Many festivities throughout the community, including food vendors, a craft/farmer’s market, medallion hunt, karaoke, garden tractor pulls, silent auction, clowns, street dance, pancake breakfast and fireman’s water fight. The city’s parade will be Sunday, Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. More details at

Mower County Free Fair- Aug. 9-14–Austin. Fun fair festivities will be the highlight of this week in Austin. Carnival rides, musical entertainment, animals, food, drink, and much more will be included. For more information about the fair, visit For general questions, email or call the fair office at 507-433-1868.

Owatonna Summer Concert- Aug. 11, 7-8:30 p.m.- Central Park- Owatonna. Sweet Potato Jackson (Americana & Country). Questions call Jerry at 507-456-6562.

Festival in the Park- Aug. 12-14–North Park, Kasson. The week is filled with fun events, including the week-long medallion hunt, movie in the park, and concert. Showcase a number of skills by competing in activities such as the Rib and Chicken cook off, Kasson Festival Run, corn hole tournament, eating contest, chalk contest, and the hilarious town favorite, the belly flop contest. Food and craft vendors will also be present. Visit to find out more.

Steele County Free Fair- Aug. 16-21–Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna. Celebrate the Red, White & Blue in 2022! More information will come prior to the fair. Visit, call 507-451-5305 or email for more information.

Riverbend Music Fest- Aug. 26-27–Owatonna. Come out and enjoy two days of camping, food, beer, and music. Purchase a one day pass for $50/ person, or a two day pass for $75/person. For a band schedule, visit

ArtWorks Festival- Aug. 27-28–Austin. This free event is a celebration of all types of art forms in the Austin community. Visual, performing, and literary arts will all be included.

Corn and Brat Feed- 4-7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25– Blooming Prairie. This annual event attracts nearly 500 people to support the Blooming Prairie Fire Department. The event will be held indoors at the fire station.



Defeat of Jesse James Days- Sept 7-11, Northfield. More details at

Big Iron Classic- Sept. 9-10–Kasson. The Big Iron Classic is the Midwest’s largest “working class” truck show, and it is the area’s largest charity contributor of toys. To find out more, visit

Marigold Days- Sept. 10-11–Mantorville. A beautiful celebration of the marigold with an assortment of events and activities will take place in the fall. The events will take place in various places around town and include the antique and flea market, the flower show, the quilt show, the car show, melodrama performances, music, 5k run, a baseball tournament, fireworks, and a parade. A full schedule is available at

Arts Center Speaker- Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. Jeff Jarvis will talk about artist Adolph Dehn. More details at

Walk to End Alzheimer’s- Sept. 11- Registration at 9 a.m., ceremony at 10 a.m., walk at 10:20 a.m. Steele County Fairgrounds- Owatonna. More information at or 507-246-3587.

Cornerstone Owatonna Car, Motorcycle, Truck and Tractor Show- Sept. 17- 2-5 p.m., 1500 SE 18th St., Owatonna. FREE music, snacks, awards, all vehicles welcome, hot wheels racing for the kids. More details at

Steele County Relay for Life- Sept. 24, Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna. Help raise money for the American Cancer Society and honor those who have been diagnosed by participating in an assortment of Relay for Life events. To get involved, contact Joel Holst at or 507-213-9950

Concert with Kenneth Huber- Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. at Owatonna Arts Center. Concert features Huber as a pianist, with a Chopin program. More details at

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Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
Dodge County ADvantage
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
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Kasson, MN 55944

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301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

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