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Drive by the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish School on Tyler Street and you're likely going to be surprised. There is a definite new look to the 51-year-old building. Since the school year ended in June, there has been a number of visible activities - roof repair, installation of new windows throughout, remodeling of the second floor computer lab and library.
Hastings' Rivertown Days is here, and it is time to celebrate the rivers and the community. The annual festival, sponsored by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, with support of the number of Hastings area businesses, will be held this Friday to Sunday, July 16 to July 18. The festival includes sports tournaments, musical entertainment, an arts and crafts fair, sidewalk sales, a canine demonstration, bingo at the Senior Center, a lumberjack show, variety of food venues, and of course, the parade Sunday (see separate story on Page 2A). Rivertown days buttons are $2 each and are for sale a
Be creative with those aluminum pop cans and plastic milk jugs and you could win a cash prize in a Rivertown Days competition sponsored by the City of Hastings Parks and Recreation Department and Waste Management. Additional funding has been received from Dakota county and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In addition to winning some cash prizes, participants will hopefully, learn some more about recycling materials and that they be used again. The "Whatever Floats Your Boat" race will be held at 4 p.m.
Residents can learn more about the Minnesota Zoo and some of its animals during Rivertown Days. The Zoomobile is making a return appearance at the festival at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at Jaycee Park along the Mississippi River. The program is free and is for the entire family. The Zoomobile and its trained staff of naturalists travel to schools and communities such as Hastings, providing an educational and entertaining environmental experience to a variety of audiences.
The fourth of 10 Cruise-In car shows will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 10, on Second Street and some of the side streets in the Hastings downtown area. The Downtown Business Association is sponsoring the shows every other Saturday through Oct. 2. The streets in the downtown area will be posted as to where parking is, and is not, allowed. People with classic cars can legally park their vehicles after 3 p.m. The Saturday Night Cruise-ins are open to all cars 1976 and older. There can be no burnouts, no exhaust flames or hydraulics.
Hardrives, Inc. has completed most of the concrete sidewalk and pedestrian ramps along Vermillion Street in Hastings and has begun the resurfacing work on the street. The contractor began the milling and resurfacing of the street on Tuesday, July 6. The work began at the southern end of the project - near Cannon Street, in the northbound lane, moving north to Fifth Street. One lane of traffic in both directions will remain open during the work.
The long wait is almost over. Construction on a new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings should begin this fall, although some preliminary work such as utilities could begin yet this summer. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announcement last week that it has awarded the contract to build the new bridge to the Lunda/Ames team for its tied-arch bridge design culminates years of work by city, state and federal officials to replace the existing bridge.
Enjoy some wine tasting, cheese and meat, and some locally-known jazz bands at the Alexis Bailly Vineyard on Sunday in July and August. The entertainment begins this Sunday, July 4 and continues through Sunday, Aug. 29. The "Jazz in the Vineyard" kicks off from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 4, with "Gondwana, " which will also close the series Aug. 29. The house band "Sounds as if (Thelonious) Monk is still alive," according to information on its web site.
Action, entertainment, and learn some life messages are part of two shows at this year's Rivertown Days. The Rich Wieber Bicycle Stunt Show will feature high action BMX stunts, while also presenting several important messages to the audience at 8 p.m. Friday, July 16, at the Jaycee Park boat launch area along the Mississippi River. Wieber has presented more than 3,000 shows in 46 states.
A tradition for East Hastings and the rest of the community is set to go again this year on Sunday, July 4. The annual East Hastings Improvement Association Fourth of July celebration will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday at Lake Isabel Park. The day is filled with food, music, games, drawings, and a silent auction with all the proceeds designated for the restoration of Lake Isabel. There have been improvements in the lake in recent years, most noticeably one two years ago.