MankatoLIFE is delighted to welcome Molly Butler to our writing team. In her new column Weekend High Notes, Molly will give you an overview of some of the key events for the upcoming weekend. Welcome aboard, Molly!

Alright. We can admit it. Things are not quite “normal.”

Without the traditional fireworks and large gatherings, many are feeling like this Fourth of July weekend just won’t feel the same. But, to me, there’s really nothing more patriotic than caring for each other. In the words of Bob Dylan, “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with freedom.” While we can’t have the big blow-outs and displays, we can still celebrate. And luckily for us, Mankato has many beautiful, safe, outdoor spaces available for us to enjoy. So, with safety in mind, here are exclusively outdoor activities for you and your loved ones.


Perhaps the hardest part of the lock down was saying a temporary goodbye to live music. I’m excited to see Warren Streets playing live 7:00 – 10:00 pm at The Landing on Madison. Warren Streets is led by Kevin Torbenson, a local dentist. But don’t worry, his music is anything but painful. Outdoor seating has always been part of what has made The Landing so lovely. What could be more charming than music on the lake? Just make sure to call ahead to save a seat.


Like just about every Saturday, I’ll start the day at the Mankato Farmers’ Market located in the Best Buy parking lot on Saturdays (It’s also at Best Buy on Tuesdays, and at The Hub in Old Town on Thursdays.) I’ve been finding great deals on greens and herbs. With the holiday weekend, I’ll definitely splurge on some good ol’ American apple pie from The Pie Peddler.

Personally, I won’t terribly miss the fireworks. I know my pup certainly won’t. Plus, I think we’ve all had enough excitement and stress this summer. That’s why I’d like to wrap up my fourth of July Un-Wine-D-ing on the Chankaska Creek Winery patio, listening to Lehto & Wright, a Minnesotan Folk-Rock group. Red or white, they all pair well with patriotism.


Wrapping up the weekend with the most American pastime, the Mankato Moondogs play the Waterloo Bucks at Franklin Rogers Stadium. I can already smell the hotdogs. For those hesitant to jump back into the stadium, the game can be streamed live online.

Bonus: Here’s a DIY patriotic popsicle I’m going to attempt to make with my nieces. I found the recipe through Honeysuckle on YouTube. Blend blueberries with honey, strawberries and lemon juice, Greek yogurt and milk. Fill popsicle molds in layers. Freeze and ta-da!

Have a great weekend, and, in the words of M.L.K. “Let freedom ring.”


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.