By Molly Butler

Already I’m seeing some yellow in the leaves. I had to grab a flannel for our bonfire. Labor Day weekend is here, and summer is rapidly fading.

Sometimes the best way to say goodbye is to add a little something extra. Mornings are better when you realize you get to sleep in an extra hour. Everyone loves finding those extra fries in the bottom of the bag. Dessert is always sweeter with a cherry on top.

Coach Jimmy Johnson said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little something extra.” Let’s end summer on a high note. Let’s add that little something extra.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little something extra. Coach Jimmy Johnson


There’s not one, but two glass torchwork classes hosted by the Mankato Makerspace this Friday. The first, from 3-6 p.m., will allow participants to create a basic clear creation, like a pendant, paperweight, or sculpture. The second class, from 6-9 p.m., will be creating color pendants. Both courses are designed for beginners with safety in mind.

At 7 p.m., the Arts Center of Saint Peter is hosting the launch of “Said The Old Widow To The New,” a poetry collection by Ronda Redmond. BYO seating to this event, featuring a live reading from the balcony by Redmond, as well as an installation by visual artist Abby Daleki.

Live music starts at 6 p.m. with What Could Go Wrong at the 507, The Frye at Indian Island Winery, and Matt McAllister at Chankaska Creek. Feeling extra musical? Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. at the Oleander.


The Blackbird mobile boutique is popping up with the S&B food truck outside of Northside Hair Co. in lower North Mankato. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., they’ll have new boutique inventory, fresh BBQ and $10 back to-school-haircuts. Now that’s an extra good deal! Then from 3-4 p.m., you can go on a tour of the Mankato Brewery, complete with a sampling in the taproom.

Then grab your rhinestones, it’s Dolly night at the Wine Café! Dolly Parton Trivia, Dolly cocktails, and, of course, Dolly music all night long. This is extra special for us: Dolly Parton is the reason we got our puppy Jolene! All the pups available were female, and we had no girl names picked out. Noah said, “If you can come up with a good girl name, we can go get a puppy.” I said, “Dolly?” He said, “We already had a cat named Dolly.” I thought for a second. “Jolene?” Noah smiled and said, “Welp, looks like we are getting a dog.” So, don’t miss out on a good thing! Show up for the good times!


There’s time enough for extra music this Sunday. You can listen to Colby Straka at the 507 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then make your way to The Landing on Madison to hear KillinTime from 3-6 p.m. Missed the Mankato Brewery tour on Saturday? Don’t worry, you’ve got an extra chance to try some local brews. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be fresh pours and live music in the Schell’s Biergarten in New Ulm.


Before you head to the lake or BBQ, grab some fresh produce at the North Mankato Farmers’ Market located at South Central College.

If you don’t already have plans for the day, check out Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm outside Waseca. They will be open and serving up their delicious pizzas this Labor Day. Plus, tours of the farm start at 1:30 p.m., and Ron & Steve Unplugged will be performing from 2-4 p.m.

Bonus: Build

One of my favorite online resources is Yoga with Adriene. Her YouTube channel has tons of free yoga sessions, and she is highly accessible for all skill levels. You can even follow along with her global practice in real time. She creates a monthly theme and builds a daily practice schedule with that in mind, so all over the world, many people are practicing the same session at the same pace. September’s theme is Build. I’m not necessarily saying you should start doing yoga, but I do think it’s a good idea to focus on a theme for your month, and build feels perfect for September.

I’m not necessarily saying you should start doing yoga, but I do think it’s a good idea to focus on a theme for your month, and build feels perfect for September.

I have two friends who are moving in September, another starting her own business, and here at our house, we are literally building furniture. So, it could be anything: bookshelves, your business, a new lifestyle, knowledge, confidence. September is a good time to set goals, and every day find ways to build them.


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.

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  • is a writer, gardener, and animal lover. She returned to the Mankato area after completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.