I’m feeling the summer energy vibrating in Mankato.

Now that I’m a city slicker — this week we traded country living for big city life — I’ve exchanged the sounds of crickets and gnats for the echo of trains, the buzz of traffic, and the occasional whiff of kettle corn if the breeze is in the right direction. It feels civilized. While I wouldn’t recommend moving while 8-months pregnant, I am excited about feeling a little more involved without needing to leave home 25 minutes before everything.

This weekend is buzzing with events.

Friday Night

Cottonwood Special is at the WineCafe at 5 pm. I highly recommend catching their show! If not this weekend, for sure at Festival Solstice next weekend.

Cruise on over to Tourtellotte Park at 7 pm to catch Movies Under the Stars. They’re showing The Greatest Showman, which has been a major hit with the kids. I’ve been teaching A Million Dreams for a while now — hey, at least it’s no longer Let It Go! from Frozen. There will be free food while supplies last starting at 7 pm. BYO snack, blanket and chairs.

Not feeling an outdoor movie? Go to the 410 Project to check out live music sponsored by Midwest Art Catalyst with Older Brother (a new Colin Scharf project), Seesaw (from Madison, Wisconsin), and Beige Interior. Beige Interior is a new synth-pop / electronic music trio from Minnesota, consisting of Megan Hartzler on vocals, Jacob Bases on bass, and Willis Stout on synths and beats. They were also just added to the Friday night lineup at Festival Solstice.

Saturday

The annual Art Splash, made possible by The Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, is happening at South Central College from 11 am – 4 pm to help raise money for the North Mankato Taylor Library. There will be local art, kid activities, live music, and food trucks. Sounds like a decent bike ride with the family, question is, can you bike up the hill?

Feel like learning some dance moves while shopping vintage clothing and hanging at an outdoor BBQ? Then head over to Dance With Me at Vagabond Village. They’ve been heating up this summer with some awesome events, so be sure to keep them on your “what should I do tonight” radar.

If you’ve driven down Riverfront Drive, you probably know the Air Show will be happening all weekend.

Oh, and don’t forget it’s Fathers Day on Sunday!

A Few Things To Keep On Your Radar

Mankato’s Farmers Market is at the Hub every Thursday from 3:30-6 pm. Be sure to check their page to see who’s playing music and what food truck will be there! Super fun!

LocAle Brewery is hosting the Festival Solstice kickoff party Thursday, June 20th. They made a specialty brew just for Festival Solstice called Two Mile Hike.

Next weekend Festival Solstice marks the official beginning of Summer! The lineup is most excellent with national, regional, and local bands. You can join Paddle Jam, find tons of vendors, specialty beer, normal beer, Saturday morning yoga, and weekend camping at Land of Memories. Want to get in for free? Become a volunteer. The only other free way into the festival is if you’re under 14 and are accompanied by an adult who paid for their ticket.

Finally, be sure to check out the latest mural by Michael Cimino at Whimsy & Weathered. You could say it’s heavenly.